Opinion Skinning Left, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Opinion ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

After 114 years of Independence - we are still miserable

As we celebrate 114 years of Philippine Independence tomorrow, we look back at our past and see where it has brought us.

What have we become as a nation? Have we truly achieved independence?

Clearly, our heroes have fought to achieve independence. They bravely marched through the battlefield and died to protect our motherland. But what have our politicians done from that momentous day in our country’s history? Why have we become a “damaged” society? Everything seems to be falling apart. Our forefathers and those who have followed continues to oppress us and exploit not only our land but also our people. We have suffered enough and up to this day, we are unable to enjoy our very basic human rights – only because our public servants in the three branches of government has not done their duty to ensure a good life and happiness for every Filipino citizen.

The Preamble in the 1987 Constitution states: “We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.”

Have we lived to see the dawn of a new day? It is year 2012 and our dark past continues to haunt us. We definitely need a hero and he has to be larger than life!

* * *

Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

If we want to gain “true” independence our government must prioritize education. Until and unless we restore a sense of commitment to the state of our education in this country and demand that the teachers’ capabilities are relevant to our times and gain scientific and technological pace of the modern world, we will sink into ignorance, illiteracy and mindless poverty – from which there is neither redemption nor prospect for tomorrow.

Has President Benigno Aquino truly given priority to education? Why did he cut the budget on education? Sure, he has rounded up his team to improve the quality of our educational system and as a result of which we have the K-12 program. But this program has been done in haste without proper implementing guidelines (that are crystal clear) and without a good lead time given to the schools and teachers.

It seems that the President is rushing this program before his term ends. If my perception is wrong, then, why all the rush? This is such a big leap forward. If this program is not implemented well, we might not achieve our real objectives. And all we have done is to disrupt the whole system. Changing programs and implementing new ones is not cheap. A pilot run should have been done while Congress passes the bill. In effect, Congress has not even passed the law on the K-12 program yet. Now what happens after P-Noy’s term? Will the next President change the system again? Susmariosep!

Last week, we saw how many classrooms and teachers are still lacking throughout the country. Of course this is old news. I also saw the pathetic school environments with old school houses, dilapidated tables and chairs, dirty comfort rooms, ignored libraries and a lack of cafeterias with healthy food available for the students. Seeing too many students assigned to one teacher was quite appalling. Imagine yourself handling more than 50 students. How can a teacher help each child in that classroom develop literacy skills and values? Let us not forget that education does not consist of merely imparting a certain amount of information in the mind of the child. It is more a process of formation than of information. I guess every public school teacher is conceived to be a “super” teacher. But reality bites not all are!

Public schools are obligated to take in every student who registers in their grounds. But shouldn’t there be a limit to the capacity of each school? Why force the number when the facilities are not enough to accommodate more? There are schools with ten thousand children and only one principal. Now how can that officer handle all that? What about the safety and security of the children?

And while we’re at it, our school year calendar is bedecked with holidays (about 18 regular and special holidays) left and right. Aside from the national holidays and school suspensions during the typhoon season, every province (city and town) has its own list of holidays that bring down the number of contact days between teacher and child. Can Congress come up with a law to regulate all these holidays?

This country sorely needs to find a solution for our school problems in the light of the highest and soundest educational principles. We need men and women in government who will uphold the Constitution and maintain the democracy of education, and who will thus resist through all lawful means educational despotism and dictatorship; who will be progressive and scientific in their views; whose object will be to help develop the whole man, physically, intellectually and spiritually, making him a good man and consequently, a good citizen.

It is every President’s duty to give to the nation and to society the best he has in productive effort, in useful and intelligent action, in service and progress. It is mainly from among the men of higher education and learning that the people expect intelligent leadership – leaders with initiative and a vision, ready and able to successfully meet new situations and solve new problems; leaders who can talk and act decisively; “leaders of widened horizons and enlarged understandings.” What we need today are men and women with character and values that will transform this nation.

As we observe the Philippine Independence Day anniversary, I hope that our leaders will think about the ascent of our country toward achieving true independence and freedom. So that one day we can finally be proud of what we have become – as a people and as a nation.

Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us:
Opinion Skinning Right, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1