I'm really disappointed to what I'd observe and felt about this school... My nephew is enrolled to this school for 3 years. Please be reminded that I'm only writing this just because I'm concern of the education of my nephew. Not to mention that they came from a good school in the Philippines and my sister believe that this school(FEPS) can bring out the best in my nephew and can give the best education that he deserve.
On the first year, I already observed problems in some areas of their administration, management and organization of the school. The vision of their school is “FEPS envisions of becoming a globally competitive center of academic excellence and human development by providing holistic quality education in the U.A.E. “. Mission of the school:
As a haven of academic excellence in the U.A.E., FEPS commits in developing God-fearing, academically equipped, and socially upright individuals regardless of race, creed, culture, gender and ethnicity.
Globally competitive – how they can compete globally if even in some small activities they cannot organize properly, no proper dissemination of information, constantly changing the schedule of activities, different information from different teachers, parents are miss lead to whom the problems/information will be ask. Several of the activities participated by some of the Filipino school in UAE, that I've attended and it was so shameful, that I want to change the color of my shirt. The FEPS students are the only one who are not in proper line, chatting, laughing, and even playing the instruments that their using. Other school are very disciplined and well organized. So, I look for some FEPS teachers (maybe they are busy) to tell them that the FEPS students are not behaving well, and I'm surprised when I saw that most of the teachers, admin and the principal was in front of the students. In this kind of activities the main knowledge, skills, and the moral is not just to win the game or to win the contest but to show the product of the education that students learned from the classroom. (FEPS specific Objective C: To let the student recognize that learning is not just confined within the classroom, but it continues in life’s everyday experiences ).If they cannot compete in a small community in a basic competition how they can compete globally?
Center of academic excellence and human development (Academically equipped, and socially upright individuals) – This is the core of the Education. Academically I am not in the position of commenting in this subject. I'm trusting the teachers and I believe that they teach the students in the best of their knowledge, capacity and time. That's why qualifications and concern of the teachers are very important. I hope that the owner, administration/management follows the law and rules of the UAE and the governing curriculum of the DECS. So far academically my nephew is in good tract.
Human Development – This worries me much. In order to achieved Academic excellence, Humanity should be well Developed. Many times my nephew told me that one of the class fight the other class.. from different grades, Some fight like pulling the students down thru the stairs by the other students... This is a big incident Right? What are actions the school had? Is that enough for the student to learn their mistakes?
Activities attended by the parents with limited sits. Some of the students are sitting nicely and didn't even bother that the parents are just standing besides them. Maybe they didn't learn from their home, but how about their 2nd home, their school, did they teach them right? Are the student greet the parents/visitors coming in their school? Are they giving respect to the visitors and the parents? (FEPS specific Objective a.: To provide an education which is developmental and integrative in character )
We always tell my nephew to coordinate properly to the responsible person for some activities, projects and deadlines, But information are confusing... short notice, date change, venue change, dissemination of information are not exact, inter- changeable, confusing. How can the student learn to manage their time, how they can learn to value of time, how can they be responsible to themselves if they cannot be sure of the schedule in a simple activities that they will join. (FEPS specific Objective B:To draw out what is best in the student, in body, intellect and spirit)This are some of the basic things to consider for the human development.
Knowing and Accepting the fact that the religion is not a focus of concern in the most school here in UAE (for this is a Muslim country), Still the School should teach the student about spirituality. As stated in the FEPS General Objective:Far Eastern Private School aims at helping the student to become an intellectually mature and spiritually oriented person of character. It is good that the school has the Islamic Subject for the Muslim Students... But how about the Christians do they have the Catechism in witch the DECS allow to have in most school in the Philippines?
FEPS stated:“The program of Far Eastern Private School focuses on the development of each student’s skills, creativity, positive attitude, and right sense of values in an atmosphere of excellence and creative cooperation”. I watched one of the Litmus activities at FEPS. As as usual... The program takes long time, that all the spectator are wondering how the organizer didn't anticipate the timings of the program. Not to mention that all the programs and activities held during weekdays, well in-fact, since we are expats in UAE, almost all the parents/guardians are working during weekdays. Did the organizer consider this? Does the management/administration talk about this while planning the activities? Program takes long time because of so many awarding, contest held at the same program. Can the organizer schedule the program in such a way that the parents should come only to the specific time that their child will participate or be awarded? Like recognition should be in the morning scheduled as per class/grade with specific time. Awarding of winners for the pre-held competition will be in the afternoon and during night could be the singing contest, battle of the band etc... Parents who's waiting for a 3 mins. Performance of their child should not take a leave of absence and wait from morning till night. Parents are trying to find ways and sacrifice to support their child, their education, spiritual, psychological, and emotional growth.
I been a judge several times in different contest and competitions in the Philippines and here, and a contestant as well. In every competitions whether I'm the Juror or the competitor, I see to it that I maintain the highest standard that I can give. One contest in the Feps I watched, participated by the students. I appreciate the effort of some of the contestants, but for the majority, the standards of a student should have and as well as a standard for being a Filipino, sadly... is not there. Dancers dance as if it is only their 1st rehearsals, as if they are just there and not even playing and their hearts are not into it. I cannot blame the students maybe they are not watching TV to see how the new generation compete. But for the teachers, they should be the guide and the mentor to set the highest standard that they should produce. (FEPS staff and personne: “Far Eastern Private School has a team of amiable, caring and highly qualified mentors with diverse backgrounds bolstered by a professional management team” )
Band competitions... too long time preparing the instruments, still sound is worst. I can't here the 90% of the notes. Singing contest, It shocks me. When all the contestants sings at the opening. They just use 2 or 1 microphone, contestants maybe 15students and sharing for 1 mic. And the funny thing is... they didn't use a “minus one”, and in fact this is a singing contest and the spectators didn't hear the voice of the singers. So the contest begins, contestants are so impressive, for their young age they sing well. But then again the problem is in the system... microphone are not working properly, speakers are with bad quality, and the songs are not playing or interchange to other songs (means it is not well organized and planned). What worst is that they are calling a wrong name for the contestants, again maybe it is interchanged. Remember that the judges has the papers with names with the corresponding numbers. For the duets category, I don't know if the contestants heared the music or they don't mind it, just like a robot sings. Not on the beat, no tempo, no notes and this are from the higher level students (highschool) the standard, the effort is missing only the courage to stand there I saw. For a high school students, in their level they should already established the highest quality standards that they will carry on for the rest of their lives. Is this the level that they learned? Now the Judgement, this I will not forget for the rest of my life. The contestant who won the contest is obviously not the best among the performance, there are 3 more contestant ahead of her (in my opinion), but my point is that the name and the number of the “supposedly” the winner (in my opinion) was interchanged to the one who won. I don't know if after this they fixed the problem but the effect on the student both the one who won and the one who's not. It's very humiliating.
Psychologically speaking it is bad. For the organizer... do you think parents as well as the student will trust? How to encourage them to do their best? So how about the Duets? Who won? Surprised! Even all the contestants didn't sing well, 1 pair won! And this is not a good judgment. If no one comply with the average quality standard, no one should win, or they should repeat the contest in some other time and to fixed the problem... maybe the sound system, microphone... anything.
Sound system, during the public speaking, that the student uses their hands. The school doesn't even had a clip-on microphone or a over head microphone. They just use the regular mic and hung it with a tie. This contest was done every year and the same problem they are facing. Can someone raise this problem to the owner or the admin/management? To have a better quality. (FEPS learning environment:“The program of Far Eastern Private School is conducted in a safe, well designed, and friendly environment conducive to learning, creative work and play”). Recently, I went to the FEPS school for some clarifications that my sister ask me to do. And it was 1pm in the afternoon. I felt so tired so I went to the canteen to buy some drinks. Its good that they have some filipino dishes, but I saw many chips, chocolates, candies, softdrinks and even donuts. I love all this and the children loves this. But is it proper to sell this in the school canteen? This are not healthy food, admit it! Even the municipality allows this, the school should teach the students what are the right foods and a good eating habits. Are FEPS complying to that? Good Eating habits, canteen are so small that only 10 students can use at the same time. One door for boys and one for girls but when both went inside is there any separations? Complying with the municipality? So I learned that the students eat inside the classroom. Is this hygienic? Is this a good eating habits? While eating in a proper place together with the classmates, students can learn so many thing that you can't imagine, with proper guidance. So since then I told my sister to prepare food for my nephew. So after eating, I felt like I want to go to the toilet so I ask the manong in the gate, if I can use the toilet inside, and this is what he told me “ Visitors are not allowed inside”, so I ask again “ So where can I use a toilet?”. And this irritated me a lot! He replied “ there in the nearest gasoline station”... I can't speak to my disbelief. So I went directly to the main office.. fortunately they allow me to use their toilet. Since, it is one hour before the bell I waited for my nephew. I ask the guard where parents can stay, because the school turned the previous waiting area for the parents to a faculty room.
The guard informed me “There is none”. So the parents who is staying outside waiting for her son told me that “the parents doesn't have a place here.” I ask the parent where can we suggest, not to complain, or is there any PTA meeting to tackle some suggestions for the improvements of the school? She said before there is this kind PTA meetings but they stopped it because there is so many complains that the school cannot handle.... What? Is that the solution for the complains? Now I believe so..that... “the parents doesn't have a place here.” The parents...the Parents who bring their child with a belief and trust to their selected school for their beloved child doesn't have a place here. Sad... The parents who's sacrificing everything just to give their child the best education that the child deserved doesn't have place here. Parents who's paying money for their child to have a a haven of academic excellence. FEPS should Remember that the parents are the one who is paying for the child's educations. Every teacher, staff, management, administration and even the owner should give importance to the parents because they are bread and butter of the school, that they are not the impediment of the school. And all parents of each and every child in that school trust each and every school personnel. (FEPS Developmental Partnership “The program of Far Eastern Private School succeeds substantially in the partnership of the school management and the parents in the development of the children.Developmental partnership will enhance and accelerate children’s learning experience)
Then the bell rangs, then again I ask the manong but now at the girls block if I can use the toilet, luckily he allowed me. Unfortunately when I saw the toilet I cant breath, smells so bad, floors are wet, and the worst is, 1st cubicle is with full of blood and sanitary napkin on it, 2nd door its with poo... And no water for the flush! Gosh! how can the students, specially the girls can use this! It was so awful! Can the municipality check on this? My nephew said that municipality are coming to the school to check, that's why the school clean the toilet. And then what after the checking? Please for the Management of the school... Please be concern to the welfare of the students. Not only for the checking of the municipality in order for you to have the permit.
Schools should not be just for the money, it should have the goal to produce and “developing God-fearing, academically equipped, and socially upright individuals regardless of race, creed, culture, gender and ethnicity.” (FEPS Mission). Is it achieved? In this kind of observations from a simple human, can this mission can be achieved? Or does FEPS really trying to achieve this mission?