A kind of Blue Collar University

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

When I was in college, I developed the term “negative acceleration” to apply to the effect of converting the town of Mandaue into a city. I used the term as a title of my baby thesis. Our class in Political Science 10, Public Corporation, then had a lengthy discussion even just on the title itself that my teacher, Atty. Alicia Alburo, would ask me to suggest the title of the term papers of my classmates.

This column is not my Political Science 10 class, but I want to describe my article today as Blue Collar University in the hope that this title can engage few readers to a lengthy discussion the way “negative acceleration” did. The term blue collar applies to a person who does manual work. It can be skilled or unskilled. Carpenters, masons, and electricians fall under this category. Even such completely different jobbers as auto mechanics and shoemakers are blue collar workers.

Let us try to imagine the difference in the work output of a person who has learned carpentry from a father-carpenter from someone who has undergone training in an established vocational school. The hand-me-down teaching of an unschooled father is arguably less polished and scientific compared to training in an institution of learning. From this comparison, we can conclude that the product of a carpenter who graduates from a school is better in quality and accuracy than someone who learns the work from experience only.

More so, if we compare the performance of an auto mechanic who has graduated from an automotive school to the work of a person who has learned the job from observing other mechanics.

Because this is election period, I hope to hear from a candidate any plan to author a bill to establish some kind of a technical-vocational school. Such plan must be detailed to distinguish it from general motherhood statements we usually hear as being mouthed by politicians. I want to call it Blue Collar University because I envision that such a plan is aimed at a large population of students coming from the less-privileged sector of our society. It necessarily has more course offerings than the technical vocational schools we have at present. These thousands of students are the very people who, because of their sheer number, will eventually compose the biggest bulk of the country’s labor force.

In any proposed measure that a candidate must present to the voters, there shall be provisions that no matriculation fee shall be asked from certain qualified students. The bill shall allow the implementation of liberal rules of such qualification. But to level the playing field, children of families belonging to a high-income bracket may, when so attitudinally minded, also be admitted upon some reasonable costs.

The expected products of this planned Blue Collar University can be immediately absorbed by prospective employers. Their academic-like training is a boost to the quality of products and that is why they are highly employable. But, a provision in the bill shall allocate funds for initial capital to deserving graduates. A business opportunity for each is better for the country’s economy.

These are but suggestions to those who want to seek our votes for congressmen and senators. I am sure they have more profound ideas than these initial thoughts. I will wait for such program during the campaign period.


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