Faith in School
By the time Filipinos finally regained self-government with the inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1935, faith in education as an indispensable tool in the achievement of social cohesion and economic modernization had been firmly established among politicians, educational policy makers, and ordinary citizens. This faith, moreover, generally included a belief in the effectiveness of education in helping to resolve the ethnic and religious tensions that continued to plague the Philippine south. However, the ongoing nature of these tensions revealed this assumption of education’s efficacy in resolving such a conflict as in fact a form of faith, a belief, held in the absence of or in spite of evidence regarding its warrantability. Guided by this faith, policy makers would tend to continue the general policies established by the American colonial regime, leaving unexamined the fundamental assumptions about civilization, progress, and the nature of Muslim Filipino relations with the emerging state that had shaped American policies since 1898. Thus, trusting to the efficacy of schooling to resolve the so-called Moro Problem in the fullness of time, Filipino leaders could turn to what was perceived to be the more pressing problems of the reborn Philippine republic. In doing so they not only failed to attend to a continuing chronic problem in the Philippine body politic, they also missed an opportunity to rethink the sorts of educational policies that might have been more likely to further the goal of mitigating ethno-religious tensions in Mindanao and Sulu.
KeywordsEducational Policy Civilization Discourse National Integration Islamic School American Colonial
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