School blues
VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - June 5, 2018 - 12:00am

You would know when it is already back to school time when children in the community are up by 6 a.m. or earlier. They are noisy, too giddy to start the day with their classmates. The smell of freshly-ironed uniforms fills the air along with the sight of newly-shined shoes. It's that time of the year again when we see the future of our country gain all the knowledge that they can get. But is it really all that worth it?

I met a couple of children who do not want to go school at this time. They said they lack funds for the everyday expense of being in school. While the government has been trying to address this, there is an internal problem among the community in finding ways for people to have a living. On top of that are also the underlying problems in the school.

Schools in the hinterlands don't have enough classrooms for their students. In the city, while there are enough classrooms, there is a lack of qualified teachers. In the Guadalupe Elementary School, one of the biggest schools in Cebu City, three grade levels share one classroom. They have to divide the day between the sections. The class starts as early as 6 a.m., while the second section goes home late at night. Is it conducive to learning? I hope so. There is no bad school for a good student. However, the environment can always play a good part in the ability of a student to absorb all that there is to learn.

I used to envy students who go to private schools where classrooms are air-conditioned and carpools are made available for them. After school they are not forced to clean the classroom, they immerse themselves in extra-curricular activities or spend the extra hours in tutoring centers. Seems like their parents are too busy to make a living.

There is no equality in education in this country. As a young student, I used to fight for accessibility and equality but seeing the reality of the situation now seems like the voices were all in vain. There may some improvements but it doesn't seem like a lot at all. Add to that there is a lack of teachers in the public sector. Despite the many teachers that pass the licensure examination, there is still a void that needs to be filled. What went wrong? Isn't teaching the noblest job there is? I feel like there is discrimination in the profession that has taught us to be good citizens.

There is so much to say on this opening of classes. The problems will continue to persist until today and tomorrow. I only wish there could be solutions to the problem. I wish even more that we become competent enough to face the world. It wouldn't be so bad to dream of an education system that could compete against other ASEAN countries. We could do it if we work hard enough.

thefreemanopinion@gmail.com

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