Education in the Philippines is suffering a setback because not much attention is being given to it. There are many drop-outs, many do not even finish high school and hardly could a student afford to go to the University.
Today, out of 10 children who start primary education, only six are able to continue their secondary education, but a measly number of 4 will reach the university level. This is a case to worry about. Although literacy rate in the Philippines appears to have improved over the past years, at 92.6%, the Philippines is 81st in the ranking of the world’s literate countries. The quality of education leads to the economic development of a nation. This is what the human capital theory states. It means that the more and better educated the people of a country the greater the chances of improving its economy. But it doesn’t hold true insofar as the Philippines is concerned, because education does not reach the totality of the young children who are supposed to be the future of the country. This reminds me of two passages and I quote:
“Children are one third of our population and all of our future”. ~Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981
“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future”. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, USA 35th President (1961-1963)
These passages alone will tell us that education is the eventual “salvation” of the country’s future development. We’ve got to strengthen the education of the young children in order to expect better chances of experiencing economic development. But what is going on?!, There are important issues which should be closely looked into and resolved.
1. Quality of education – There was a considerable decline in the quality of education in the Philippines especially in the elementary and secondary levels. How in the world could a teacher handle a class of 50 to 60 children in the class room while the ratio should only be 1:25? Another example is the National College Entrance Examination for college students conducted among elementary and high school students. Results showed way below the target mean score. What could be done about the quality of education? I believe teachers’ salary should be upgraded. Philippine school teachers are underpaid, and they have little incentive to take up advanced trainings. Thus, the quality of education suffers.
2. Philippine Constitution has mandated the allocation of the highest proportion of the national budget to education. Unfortunately, the Philippines remains with the lowest budget allocations to education among the Asean countries. What could be done? Perhaps the budget systems should be amended to earmark more on the regions that actually receive lower education allocation in comparison with other regions.
3. Education expenditure among the social groups. For example, the socio-economically poor students have higher dropout rates, especially in the elementary level. And most of the freshmen students at the tertiary level come from relatively well-off families. A possible solution could be more scholarship programs extended to the poor. This will at least provide equity and subsidy to state universities and colleges should be cut off to enhance access.
4. Inequality on the proportion between training and actual jobs. This is the major problem at the tertiary level and it is also the cause of the existence of a large group of educated unemployed or underemployed. Apprenticeship program with the involvement of the private sector could be developed. Active participation from the private industries that are attuned to the needs of business and industry should be tapped.
The lack of attention on the part of authorities to resolve the issues has led concerned individuals or private entities to create programs or organizations to at least provide some remedies to the problems of education. And I would like to make reference to one of those – Leapahead Charitable Institution. To have further information about the institution, please visit below link:
It is of vital importance that the educational system in the Philippines is given the much needed attention it deserves.
If we don’t act now, who will, the authorities? And when the situation is already beyond measure?
Muchas gracias y adios a todos…Eric
In my next issue, I will feature a Filipino personality who’d become successful in his/her field of endeavour. Learn how he/she was able to go through the challenges in life. So, hang on for it..