Education, A Right Not A Privilege
As what Stand-UP was saying in one of their fliers, “The political machinations of the Arroyo administration have exacerbated the country’s economic problems. As prices escalate, and the number of jobless Filipinos rises, the impact on education sector is indisputable.” The reality is that our government puts least priority in Education will no doubt increase the number of out-of-school, uneducated and under-educated youths in our country in the coming years.
My older brother, who is currently studying in University of Santo Thomas under the course of AB Literature, always shares his observations about the increasing number of Korean classmates every year. He always criticizes about Koreans failing their subjects, due to social adjustments, tardiness and other factors, under the fact that they are wasting their time and money to study English (which is cheaper here in the Philippines compared to other countries’ price of education) while many of our intelligent Filipinos cannot go to college, or cannot even go to school because of poverty.
My friend’s aunt, who is teaching in one of the public schools here in the Philippines, has been courteous enough to buy school supplies for her students just to supervise the class curriculum. Sometimes she even buys them food because many of her students go to school with empty stomachs.
In my friend’s province, Pangasinan, many of the teachers got laid off from teaching because of failing the teacher’s exam. It just shows that the teacher’s quality in some parts of our country, especially in rural areas, poor. This is mainly because of better job opportunities and privileges abroad, and also the very low standard of training and education of future teachers especially in state colleges (most but not all).
These examples of poor education in our country are really devastating. It is clear enough that the education here is only accessible to the middle, upper middle, high classes and foreigners in our country. The poor, marginalized and underprivileged classes in our society, try as they may to improve their conditions and enter good education, will most likely fail because it is not only the price of education they have to solve, but also the other important factors like food and school supplies. If some finally enters schooling, other problems they will be facing are the lack of facilities, qualified teachers and books. The continuous commercialization and privatization of education will only hinder the development of the future generation of the people here in our country. Education has become a privilege rather than a right.
It is sad to realize that the famous lines of our national hero, Jose Rizal, “Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng Bayan” and “The pen is mightier than a sword” will be hard to attain with this kind of Education in our country. So, let us not stop to fight for Education because knowledge is power.