Philippine University Professors Give the Philippines a Bad Image
by Sanaz Raeisi
First and foremost, let me say that just like in any country or university, not all professors are bad. I am friends with some university professors here in the Philippines, and they are some of the best professors in the world. This story is about the professors behaving badly.
There are so many reasons why many young students leave their country to study in another country. Some study abroad because of the quality of education, others for adventure, while others travel to learn new culture, new language, and to experience a new lifestyle.
In my country, Iran, it is very difficult to get admitted to the top 10 public universities. And in order to get to private universities, you have to pay a lot. As a result, many Iranian students decide to leave their country to spend the same amount of money in other countries where they don’t have to score very high in entrance examinations.
The Philippines is one of the target countries for dentistry and medical majors from Iran. The cost of education here is much cheaper compared other countries like Japan, Singapore, or Hong Kong. In fact, there are almost 3000 students who study dentistry in Manila. In addition, the quality of education in medicine here in the Philippines is one of the best since Filipino nurses and doctors are respected all over the world.
For the most part, I have observed that many foreigners enjoy studying in the Philippines, as the country offers much more than education. The Philippines is full of life and energy with beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and a great traditional culture. However, having lived here for over four years now (my husband is half Iranian half Filipino who studied for his bachelor’s and master’s degree here), I have also met many new Iranian friends who told me horror stories:
- NAME CALLING. Generally, Iranian girls like to look their best all the time or as they say in the Philippines, “kikay.” They dye their hair, polish their nails, and always make sure they have nice make up. It’s part of our culture to look beautiful everywhere we go. Recently, one of the university teachers insulted my friend by calling her “a prostitute ” because her hair was dyed as blond. To add insult to injury, the teacher argued with Sara during an exam, and Sara was unable to concentrate and finish it. As a result, Sara failed her exam because she could not answer all the exam questions on time.Professors should not be insulting and berating their students. Who cares if a student’s nail polish is bright pink or yellow. That is their own individuality, and they should be allowed to express themselves as long as they are not hurting others. Furthermore, no teacher should ever call their students names. That demoralizes the student from learning and achieving their goals.
- ASKING FOR RIDICULOUS FAVORS. In another case, another the professor texted my friend Baran that she had to treat her for kebab if she wanted to get a good grade in one of her exams. This is very unprofessional and unbecoming of a professor. That is very unethical. That incident is very symbolic for me because I know that many of my Filipinos friends continue to complain about the corruption here in the Philippines. I can’t believe that there is also a certain kind of corruption in the university where in order to get a good grade, we should be paying our teachers, and in this case, treating them for food.I have another friend, Pouya, who had a similar incident when he had his thesis defense. A few hours before his defense, he received a text from his group leader that he had to order pizza from Yellow Cab for all of the professors and also to give Parker Bold Pen as a gift! Wow! They even requested for a specific restaurant and specific brand of a gift. That is amazing.
- MORE FAVORS. Iranians have to bring pasalubong from Iran if they want to have a good impression on their teachers. In one case, one of my friends even had to give a gold necklace in order to let the student take the exam again because he wasn’t able to take the exam on time because of his illness. Yeah, my friend sounds like he was bribing the teacher, but I assure you, he really was sick. I was there.
These are just a few example of the horror stories I have heard from my friends regarding how Filipino professors treat them at their school. To protect their identity, I changed their names and will not disclose the name of the universities. They all study in some of the famous universities in Manila. I don’t know all the Iranians here in the Philippines, but if my own friends are going through these ridiculous things, what about the thousands of others? I’m sure then that there many others who may be going more unfortunate situations.
And what happened to my friends? Well, they do their best to avoid these kinds of situations. As long as they can meet the demands of their professors, they are fine. They would rather not cause any trouble in a country that is unfamiliar to them. After all, they are just visitors.
I wish those professors would know how difficult it is to for some students to pay for all those high school and travel fees. I wish they knew how difficult it is to live far from your family. I love the Philippines, and I have many Filipino friends, and I always tell my family and friends back home how wonderful this country is. However, my friends may not say the same thing about the Filipinos because of their horrific experiences. It is unfortunate that a few unprofessional Filipino professors have to give the country a very bad image.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sanaz is former student, now a marketing specialist, at the American Institute for English Proficiency.