Thursday, August 18, 2011

Erroneous School Textbooks

My first-year high school son and I have been discussing about Philippine geography one afternoon, when our topic led into his narration of towns and cities under the National Capital Region (NCR). He enumerated 16 towns and cities, but missed Erap's town of San Juan. He's adamant that there is no San Juan City in Metro Manila, as he referred on their history book below.

I cannot believe that such a famous town will be missed by the book's 2 authors, proofreaders, and the book's publishing team. But when my son showed me the book's page no. 10 with the list of NCR towns and cities, I was disappointed with the absence of San Juan City on the list.

The oldest town or city in NCR, San Juan was the first site of the first battle of Katipunan. It was also the town of the most Philippine presidents, as four of them were official residents of San Juan when they assumed office. They were the Macapagals, Diosdado Sr. (1961–1965) and his daughter Gloria (2001–2010); Ferdinand Marcos (1965–1986); and Joseph Estrada (1998–2001), who also served as mayor when San Juan was still a municipality.

With the strategic location of the city of San Juan, plus its place on the nation's history, it is very hard to believe that the above book's authors have missed it. Both authors came from a reputable university, and one of them even has a masteral degree. This glaring mistake confirms the various complaints about the inaccuracy of some textbooks used in our schools. 

Our national hero once said that "The youth is our nation's hope". But how will it materialize, when some of the books that they use are not accurate? As they say in IT industry, "garbage in is garbage out". How can we produce future leaders, when their educational foundation is based on wrong facts? Its like we are lying on today's youth. I know that feeling, as I still remember when Gregorio Zaide's Philippine history books featured the primitive and isolated Tasaday tribe, which later turned out to be a hoax. 

There should be more stringent laws and penalties to ensure that authors and book publishers will provide accurate books in the market. Education officials must be sanctioned for incompetence on their job, like approving school textbooks with inaccurate information.

I sent an email last 18 August 2011 to DepEd and Rex Publishing to report this blog post's finding. What I got is an automated reply and a bounced back email below. (:

From DepEd
This is to acknowledge receipt of your email sent to the DETxt Action Center of the Department of Education. Rest assured that it will be forwarded to the concerned Office and acted upon at the soonest time possible.
Thank you.

From Rex Publishing's email address on their website

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Technical details of permanent failure:
The recipient server did not accept our requests to connect. Learn more at [ (1): Connection timed out]
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  1. Can I have an interview regarding this article? Assignment po kc nmin. Im Rochelle Golla a broadcasting student from UE Manila. eto po e.add ko.


    1. Hi, Rochelle. I could grant the interview but we don't have the book now, as this article was written 2 years ago. But if you still want to proceed with the interview, could you send me the interview questions in advance to