That is the question that a recent Newsbreak report poses and dissects. One salient line:
[Philippine Science High School] graduates in UP are sometimes accused of overconfidence and academic delinquency in the latter part of their courses.
As a Pisay graduate myself, I’m able to refute and support several of the article’s points. True, some PSHS grads in UP end up fighting for academic survival, but take note of the word some (even the quotation above says “sometimes”). Many Pisay alumni graduate with stellar academic records, along with extra-curricular and student leadership feats.
In my opinion, it’s just a matter of population and, sadly, preconception. Most PSHS graduates enroll in UP campuses (usually Diliman, Manila, and Los BaÃ±os), and most UP students enrolled in science- and technology-related colleges seem to know a cadre of Pisay grads. Chances are any news (or gossip) about PSHS alumni and their ‘behavior’ will get around pretty fast.
And hey — just how many students are there in UP (Diliman, at least)? Twenty thousand? And how many are academically delinquent? Hundreds upon hundreds, I tell you (including me, at one point in my acad life). Pisay alumni in UP are not exempt from that statistic. I agree with this one:
“We would like to think that we are no different [from our classmates in UP],” Albert said. “We are magnified because there are a lot of us in UP,” said Ivy.
But then, I’m not going to wholly vindicate our lot of PSHS grads here. True, we have that (mean?) streak of confidence and pride. These are traits that Pisay people have developed in their tortuous stay in the highly-competitive institution. We earn those not through the elitist and privileged upbringing that other people claim we benefit from. Rather, we earn those traits through four years of incessant barrage of advanced subjects, an unrelenting schedule, and yes, even a few failures along the way.
“When we fail our exams, we are not usually as concerned as our classmates who probably failed for the first time, and they misinterpret us to be arrogant,” Moneva said. “But we are used to failing in PSHS. We know that there’s another chance to make up for it.”
Unfortunately, the pride and confidence sometimes grow into outright arrogance and preposterousness. For that, PSHS students can offer no excuse. If a Pisay alumni becomes a swell-headed git, what was then the use of the message boards dotting PSHS walls, saying pleading, “Ialay ang Talino sa Bayan”? Feeling high and almighty because of one’s prestigious school doesn’t constitute service to the nation, nor is it the proper way for an Iskolar ng Bayan to act.
For the uninformed: The Philippine Science High School, or PSHS, is a special state-run high school educating the country’s best young minds (supposedly the Top 10 percent of elementary school graduates) in science and technology. PSHS students are government scholars, meaning they enjoy free education, as well as monthly stipends.
*’Pisay’, as PSHS is fondly called, is touted to be the Philippines’ premier secondary school, having an advanced curriculum, great educational material (at least, in the form of hardcover college-level books), and a large 7.5 hectare main campus at Diliman. Of course, this premier status is highly debatable, what with the presence of excellent private schools and other science high schools, such as Manila Science and Quezon City Science that prepare its graduates well for college, be it for science courses, medicine, humanities, or a masters degree in special education.
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