Sunday, June 04, 2006

Demise of the Education System

While reading the Phil. Star yesterday, I came upon Alex Magno's column. At first he admitted the existing shortage of classrooms. He then admitted the effect of overcrowded classrooms to a student's ability to grasp his lessons. At least he admitted this and did not deny it.

But then things went from admiration to being flabbergasted. He began to laud GMA's wisdom in solving the problem. He blamed the shortage of teachers instead. He said that the teachers would rather leave and become domestic helpers and caregivers then stick to a profession which pays a lot lower. Isn't it the administration's policy to get as many Pinoys as possible to work overseas? Why blame the teachers?

The annual decline of the DepEd's budget is to blame. Why point the finger somewhere else? With lesser funds to work with, the DepEd has to make do with what the administration gives them. The DepEd just cannot cope with the increasing number of enrollees every year. With the rising tuition fees in private schools, the parents are forced to send their kids to public schools instead. Yes, we can say that population is also a factor but we must consider the economic quagmire we are in. Education cost is just too much. It has become a "privilege than a right". The private sector has even pitched in to somehow alleviate the burden on the government. Definitely, someone somewhere is making a killing through all this.

The Fil-Chi Chamber of Commerce can construct a classroom less than half of what the government spends. Why not get their contractors to build this much needed rooms instead. Unless of course someone is really making a lot of dough. Our OFWs also have regular fundraisers to help in the "Classroom ni Gloria Program". Are these funds really used for its intended purpose?

Through all these, the children suffer the most. Underpaid and overworked teachers can only do so much. In the end, our public schools end up being diploma mills. Turning out graduates who are undereducated and unprepared. And for what, to satisfy the statisticians in Malacanang so they will have a good report on the administration's accomplishments in education. The reality is the literacy rate of our country will continue to decline unless the administration with all sincerity, really sits down and address this nagging problem.