Friday, April 20, 2007

Education: The Elusive Dream

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) yesterday, lifted the 10% cap on tuition fee increase. The logic behind this is that no university or college would dare increase their fees beyond 10%. The CHED said that the threat of losing students is the major deterrent to exorbitant increases. Really? I wouldn't subscribe to this twisted point of view. Instead of protecting the youth and their parent's, they are thrown to the wolves.

We all know that removing the cap could also lead to an increase in dropouts. With the way the schools have been increasing their tuition year after year, it has become too restrictive and has turned education into a privilege than a right. With this development, the parents will have to bear the brunt of the only "inheritance" we parents could give to our children.

State colleges and universities can only accommodate so much and the less privileged are even eased out by the affluent. Where will this displaced students go to get a good education? Personally, I think state universities and colleges should give priority to the under privileged. But this is not the case, the elusive dream of a college education is made unreachable to the under-privileged Filipino youth. Instead, these kids are made to go head to head with the rich, better educated youth whose families can easily afford to send them to private universities.

I believe the admission system should not be wholesale. The poor should be placed at the head of the line instead of at the end. Efforts should be done to reform the present situation in admittance in state universities. Give priority to those who need it most than those who can easily afford it. This should be the case. Scholarships should be awarded to those who can't afford and the grade requirements should be lowered to an acceptable level. Government agencies can develop jobs for education programs for scholars to help pay for the cost of sending them to school. Regardless if the state university uses income bracketing, the bottom line will always be affordability.

It seems that the Dept. of Education and even this administration would like to keep the poor were they are. And they ask why the poor remain poor and the rich become richer, kinda stupid isn't it. Then they blame the poor for their woes. It seems that the rich are given more preference and the government has made this their policy. They would rather see poor kids attend their TESDA trainings (which are not free by the way) and eventually send them off to distant lands to slave as "skilled" workers. The government then waits for their remittances which prop up the economy then claim that we are at the verge of economic takeoff. Its legalized human trafficking, and only GMA and her greedy cabinet can conjure such a scheme.

The administration's penchant for borrowing to somehow control the deficit has buried the country in debt. They couldn't care less as its the Filipino who eventually shoulders the cost. Which brings us back to the problem of education. As parents, we always try to give our children the best education we can afford. We toil and give up our luxuries for the sake of our children's future. But if a government makes it difficult for us to achieve that goal, then education will always be that elusive dream.