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Do you agree with Sen. Noynoy Aquino that two more years of schooling will produce more competitive graduates?

Leonard Villa, Batac City: Yes, Noynoy’s proposal is a powerful idea whose time has come. Good education for the youth is a must if we want to attain national progress.  

Malou Morales, Metro Manila: No, it should be a person’s prerogative to pursue further studies or not, thus making himself competitive.  

A very expensive suggestion

Evangeline Matias, Nueva Ecija: I disagree as that would be very expensive. How about poor people who can’t even send their children to school? Schools should instead improve the quality of education.  

Felix Ramento, USA: No, that would be too expensive. I believe we are not that far behind compared to others in the region. What we need actually is improved educational system, quality teachers and, on the part of the students, focusing on the right course and motivation in order to have better graduates.  

Lydia Reyes, Bataan: I respect his opinion as it is for improvement anyway. Only, it seems not practical, knowing how expensive education is today.  

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Upgrade the quality of teaching

Elpidio Que, Vigan: I disagree with Noynoy that two more schooling years will produce competitive graduates. It’s the students, teachers, schools and curricula that make graduates competitive, not prolonging school academics. The late president Marcos even topped the bar despite being in jail to do self-study. The late Pepe Diokno is said to have self- studied law as well, and ended up being the bar topnotcher also. Ninoy was excellent despite going through the normal four- or five-year college schooling, just like the aforementioned Filipino greats.  

Rey Ibalan, Antipolo City: What we need is to upgrade the quality of teaching, teachers and the curriculum to suit the fast-changing times.  

Glen Reyes, Quezon City: No, it won’t. What we need is more dedicated teachers and our universities to improve their services.  

Ella Arenas, Pangasinan: Aside from being impractical, it would be time-consuming and costly to add two more years of schooling. I don’t think that is the basis for higher literacy. What we need is to improve our educational system so that students will benefit greatly.  

Ed Alawi, Davao City: No, it’s the quality of teachers, books, schoolrooms, facilities, and teacher’s pay that needs improvement to produce competitive graduates.  

Ishmael Q. Calata, Parañaque City: Not so long ago, we had less number of years in school but we produced better graduates then. Our good senator is completely out of touch. Our graduates are now less competitive on a general basis not because of the number of years of schooling but because of our educational system, poorly trained teachers, inadequate school facilities, lack of classrooms in many public schools, and poorly made school books that have become the sources of huge profit and big business.  

Leonard Villa, Batac City: If graft and corruption continue to persist at DepEd and mediocre teachers man our schools, a two-year additional in schooling would never uplift the quality of education.  

Ernesto Oliquiano, Las Piñas City: That is not the solution to the problem. The present 10 years of elementary and high school education is already sufficient to produce competitive graduates. Adding two more years will not produce the desired results if the present condition of our educational system does not improve. It will only add to the burden of parents. What the government should do is to improve the quality of our educational system, build more classrooms, hire additional teachers and increase their salaries, conduct regular training and re-training to make them more efficient, provide adequate textbooks to students, etc.  

Further studies is always an option

Loi Castillo, Davao City: Students who want to study further and be competitive can take two years of Masteral studies. Anyway, if they want to work immediately, four or five years of college are enough. It’s as simple as that.  

Economic aspects need to be considered

Manny Cordeta, Marikina City: With due respect to the honorable senator, I can’t either agree or disagree. I just hope the LP standard bearer took time to discern the economic aspect, among others, lest the proposition appear to be recklessly done and in haste, merely speculative and plainly too political for added “pogi” points.  

An added burden for students and parents

Nap Cinco, Rizal: No, I don’t. Two more years of schooling will mean an extra burden on the students, parents and teachers alike and is no guarantee of producing good students.  

Alexander Raquepo, Ilocos Sur: I don’t agree with him. Two more years of schooling would mean an additional financial burden to parents and the government.  Erwin Espinoza, Pangasinan

No, I don’t agree. Quality education is what we need such as improved school facilities, well-trained teachers, connectivity, a world-class curriculum, neat and well-built school buildings, etc. Adding more years will only increase the burden of every family household in terms of school and dormitory expenses, among other things.  

Germi Sison, Cabanatuan City: In many advanced countries, students take 16 or more years to earn a college degree and they become competitive after graduation. Educational institutions are complete with facilities, equipment and books aside from employing only qualified instructors. They have many subjects in science, arts and technologies that some students drop out because their earned knowledge in high school qualifies them already for employment. Going to colleges is to sharpen more their fields of study. This could be the basis of Sen. Noynoy Aquino in proposing two more years of schooling, but he must have overlooked the problem of the government’s meager funds for the program and the inability of parents to afford more expenses.  

Dr. Jose Balcanao, Benguet: It’s a good idea but it’s not realistic because it only adds a burden especially to poor parents. Adding two more years of schooling means additional tuition fees, books, allowances and other expenses. Our government has even failed to deliver quality education in the public elementary and high schools for so many decades. How much more failure will there be if another two years is added? That’s why our government should first address perennial problems that hamper the delivery of quality education in all levels.  

Rose Leobrera, Manila: A big no, as that will only entail additional expenditures for parents. What we need are competent and strict teachers, complete learning materials, good and comfortable school buildings and add to that a conducive environment that will contribute to the learning process. There should be a minimal number of students inside the classroom, and most of all government support. Maybe Noynoy doesn’t know how hard it is to send children to school. Lalong makukuba ang mga magulang.  

Armando Tavera, Las Piñas City: It would be a burden to the students and parents. Why not prolong the number of school days instead and allocate more time for the major subjects?  

Rey Onate, Palayan City: No advantage can be gained from adding two years of schooling. It will only prolong the agony of being declared unemployed. I have realized that though we have a number of doctorates in education nowadays, our education system is still below par.  

Noynoy’s assumption is false

Ruel Bautista, Laguna: My Lola used to boast that though she only reached Grade 4, she was a teacher during the Japanese times. This could prove Noynoy’s assumption to be false.  

Herculano Babatido, Misamis Oriental: I disagree. Before and after the second World War, we produced great men with the schooling system that we had. The proposal of Noynoy is dagdag hirap sa mahirap and a show of vindictiveness.  

It’s quality, not quantity that counts

Gerii Calupitan, Muntinlupa City: Absolutely not, and though my lack of education hasn’t hurt me, I can read the writing on the wall (Kodak Chrome, Paul Simon 1971): Quality, not quantity, counts in education. It’s not the length of time that makes Juan a bright boy. My classmate Morie took 10 years to get his UE high school diploma. Does it make him a more competitive graduate than those who finished it in only four years?  

J.R. Mondonedo Jr., Parañaque City: No, two more years of schooling will not produce competitive graduates if the school is school bukol, with incompetent teachers, and students have no interest or are plain mahina ang utak. Let’s face it  no amount of years will help a slow learner or one with no interest in school. They shouldn’t even bother to waste their parent’s money.  

Arvin Padual, Quezon City: I don’t agree with Sen. Noynoy Aquino. The quality of one’s education is not in the number of years.  

Jesus Mendoza, Pangasinan: Two more years of schooling is useless if the quality of education does not improve due to a lack of competent teachers and basic facilities.  

Eufrocino Linsangan, Isabela: Length of years in school is not a guarantee of quality education. What is needed are quality teachers, not additional years of schooling.  

Manuel Abejero, Pangasinan: No, it all depends on the quality of teachers and teaching methods we have. It will just prolong the agony of parents sending their kids to school.  

Rodolfo Talledo, Angeles City: Even if we make it 10 more years, we’ll still have the same quality of graduates. It’s the quality of instruction that needs upgrading. Exclusive schools can do it.  

Education must be attuned to the times

Abelardo Abilay, Laguna: Not really. It’s not the number of years that will make graduates more competitive. It’s vocational training that is important. We must look at the present to predict the future. Nowadays, call centers; computer repair; cellphone repair; and language training are booming. Hence, students must be exposed to foreign languages and technology. Adding more years to schooling does not assure us of better graduates. It only assures us of higher expenses and a tremendous waste of time.  

The government must invest more in education

Jae delos Santos, Muntinlupa City: There’s nothing wrong with our educational system. The administration should instead build more classrooms, acquire new educational materials and hire highly competent teachers. It’s sad to see 70+ students/pupils trying to contain themselves in a very small classroom if at all, listening and writing uncomfortably. Adding two more years of schooling would only mean another two years of clogged classrooms. Noynoy’s recommendation is obviously illogical and totally not a solution to the problem.  

L.C. Fiel, Quezon City: Two more years of schooling won’t necessarily produce more competent graduates. If we are talking of public school education, ang mangyayari ay mas marami ang titigil ng pag-aaral. What the government should do is invest in better school facilities and more competent teachers instead of increasing the number of schoolyears.  

Carmela Ramento, Cagayan de Oro City: Good teachers can only produce competitive graduates. The government has to offer the most competitive salaries to good teachers for them to stay. Then and only then can we get good competitive graduates. Two more years in school? Outrageous. Simple arithmetic, my dear senator.  

Jose Fabello Jr., Cagayan de Oro City: The government must invest in good quality teachers. Pay them well. This is a better and more economical way to produce competitive graduates rather than adding two years of basic schooling. A rather bad Abad advice I think, and Noynoy took it hook, line and sinker.  

Elmo Cruz, Manila: Producing more competitive graduates can be achieved by having competent teachers, reliable facilities and equipment and by feeding the children well.  

Joe Nacilla, Las Piñas City: The idea of two more years of schooling to produce more competitive graduates is the product of a shallow mind or a bankrupt idea. It is akin to money that carries a promise of happiness but never delivers. Two more years of schooling will amount to nothing and cannot bring back the wasted time. The reason we are producing low-quality graduates is the government itself. Teachers are the most important ingredient in producing quality leaders but the government is not taking good care of them. This is why we find teachers protesting delayed or unpaid low salaries. The government cannot even supply chalk but is always ready to release the pork barrel and travel expenses of congressmen.  

Jim Veneracion, Naga City: No, education must always get the lion’s share of the annual budget to provide adequate classrooms, books and teachers. DepEd’s corruption should also be minimized.  

Desuel Pardo, Mandaluyong City: We used to have globally competitive graduates that spent six years of elementary, four years of secondary and four or more years of tertiary education. The reason for having many poor graduates today is due to the poor quality of teachers, lack of facilities and equipment, and the many diversions and vices students get addicted to like too much television viewing, video games, reading junk magazines, taking prohibited drugs, worsening breach of discipline observed in our society and many activities outside the school unknown before.  

We should eliminate poverty

Pedro Alagano Sr., Vigan City: It’s in the genes. Better eliminate poverty as students will become more competitive if they are not hungry. An honest-to-goodness poverty alleviation effort is needed.  

It shows a lack of understanding

C.B. Manalastas, Manila: I don’t agree. Maybe Noynoy is simply referring to himself. It also shows his lack of grasp and trust in the talent and ability of our graduates.  

Mandy Rillon, Cabanatuan City: Disagree. This son of an haciendero obviously does not know the economics of family living because he is matandang binata at walang sinusuportahan. I thought he was claiming to be an economist? Instead, let’s maximize the years of schooling we have by supporting mentors with good compensation and rewards, the students with books and nutrition, and an annual assessment on the competitiveness of our education system.  

Editha Monreal, Antipolo City: Let me hear him say this in front of the majority of his potential voters.  

Careful analysis should be made

Ruben Viray, Antipolo City: There is no guarantee that we can produce more competitive graduates just by adding two more years of basic education. I am not in conformity with the idea but I suggest that careful analysis be made on this, as to these concerns: Is our government ready to fund this proposal? Do we have enough teachers and classrooms for the extended two years education? Can poor parents cope with the additional school expenses to be incurred? Are we equipped with all the necessary learning aids to conform with the latest technology? Does the Department of Education approve of this? I suggest we follow the status quo and instead improve our educational system so that we can be at par with developed countries and ensure that our graduates will become more competitive.  

We need mentors who inspire students

Dino Monzon, Caloocan City: No, extending time spent in school will not equate to better quality education. What students need are mentors who inspire them to learn with enthusiasm.  

Cris Rivera, Rizal: No, what students need are a modest classroom, a library where he can find books to help him, and an equally competitive mentor to guide him.  

Ignacio Anacta, Metro Manila: That’s debatable. Competitive graduates are products of quality schools with effective, devoted, and disciplined teachers. I think requiring graduates to undergo on-the-job training will yield more positive results since experience is the best teacher!  

It won’t equate to anything

Lucas Banzon Madamba II, USA: People will just have to follow the regular number of years of schooling (theoretical and practical applications) to produce more competitive graduates.  

Conrad Calilung, Metro Manila: Two more years of schooling will not produce more competitive graduates. The competitiveness of graduates lies in the eagerness of students to learn, the quality of teachers that educate them, and the parents that rear them. Why? This has already been proven by the quality of education achieved by those who graduated in the early decades who made names and succeeded in their different fields of endeavors. This proposal will not only entail an additional burden to the parents (more students dropouts) but also to the government in allocating its already depleted budget.  

Col Ben Paguirigan Jr., Ret., Zamboanga City: What we must deeply consider is the welfare of every Filipino for a long-range program, not patchwork. We may add 10 more years of schooling but will it make or produce competitive graduates, hell no.  

Train the trainors

Alex Jacinto, Gapan City: Two more years might help, but why not hit the nail on its head by sending all teachers to enhancement seminars that they may teach students better?  

Good governance is the key

Ric Vergara, Calamba: It’s the quality of our national leaders that must change or improve. Good governance ensures quality education at all times.  

Views expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The STAR. The STAR does not knowingly publish false information and may not be held liable for the views of readers exercising their right to free expression. The publication also reserves the right to edit contributions to this section as it sees fit.

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