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Isayas, Ma. Veronica B.

20060201298

Philippine National Development Plan Prof. R.C. Librea, DPA

Philippines has gone through many changes for the past decades. These changes brought different challenges that impact the lives of many Filipinos, not to mention the advantages and the disadvantages accompanied by these changes. Together with this are buckets of questions concerning the development issues in all aspects. One of these is education. What happen to Philippine education after all these changes? Are the problems with reference to education system, school facilities and infrastructure, availability of teachers and affordable education properly attended? If not, how could we really resolve this in the best way we can to attain the quality of education were dreaming for the long time. Where are we now in terms of education and how do we need to response to such? Before going far from the topic, checking the financial plan constructed for education is a relevant job. The Philippine Constitution has mandated the government to assign the highest budgetary priority to education.1 According to General Appropriation Act of 2012, signed by Pres. Benigno Aquino III, Department of Education received the largest appropriation for FY2012 which amounting to P238.8 billion or 15.2% higher than 2011 education budget of P207.3 billion.2 The proposed 2012 education budget, despite the increase, only amounts to 2.5 percent of our 2010 GNPless than the standard set by UNESCO which is supposedly 3% of the countrys GDP. It goes without saying that Philippines experiences great deficiency in education budget. Despite of this fact, Filipinos are still bound to face other education challenges such as lack of facilities/infrastructure in public schools, high percentage of dropout rate, educational structural, lack of well-trained teachers, low salaries of teachers, medium of instruction and medium of instruction. According to UN Global Monitoring Report of 2010, Philippine education ranks behind Tanzania and Zambia, both countries have incomes that are only one-fourth of the Philippines income.3 Analyzing the educational situation, statistical reports may support the UN report of 2010. While the government claims the the classroom to student ratio is 1: 45 according to NSO, 4 militant student and youth groups contested this claim, insisting that data they gathered showed the average classroom-to-student ratio in elementary and high schools, in the National Capital Region alone, is 1:85; the number of new teachers needed is 49,699; the classrooms, chairs and textbook shortages are 57, 930, 3.48 million and 34.7 million, respectively, that leads to prohibitively large class size, making for an undesirably high student-teacher ratio. Aside from this, the dropout rate for elementary and secondary schools still cannot hit the target of at least 4.3 percent, and this is mainly due to poverty. Though the cohort survival rate presented by DepEd from 2006-2011 is escalating, still 74% rate for elementary and 79% rate for secondary are far from the expected 83.7% as of 2011. However, there is still reason to boost our hope because for over 30 years, literacy rate of Filipinos has risen from 72% to 90%. According National Statistics Office (NSO), with a total of 92 % literacy rate it means that 48.4 million or 84% of the estimated 57.6 million Filipinos who are 10 to 64 years old are said to be "functionally" literate, and this makes Philippines to fall on the 96 spot worldwide.5 Nevertheless, to avoid detrimental consequences of having poor quality education such as increase in poverty rate, ignorance, higher crime rates, and lack of social progress, the government together with the help of the education sector should established long term reforms to uplift the education level of Filipinos. Modification in the overall system in a form of sufficient budget for public schools (elementary, secondary and state universities) to support in building classrooms and facilities, supplying materials to students and teachers like books, financial support to the unfortunate students in a form of scholarship, free uniforms or school supplies, increase in teachers salary, extending giving quality
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Leon, H. S. (1997). Textbook on the Philippine Constitution (1997 ed.). Manila, Philippines: Rex Book Store. Philippine education statistics for SY 2010-2011. (n.d.). EduPhil.org Forum. http://eduphil.org/forum/philippine-education-statistics-for-sy-2010-2011-t-1805.html. 3 UN report ranks RP education behind Tanzania, Zambia Binay | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online. (n.d.). mb.com.ph | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online. http://www.mb.com.ph/node/239946/un-report-rank. 4 NSCB - StatDev Philippines - Chapter on Education. (n.d.). Philippine National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB). http://www.nscb.gov.ph/stats/statdev/. 5 Department of Education of the Philippines - DepEd - Facts & Figures. (n.d.). Department of Education of the Philippines - DepEd. http://www.deped.gov.ph/factsandfigures.

education to the provinces and throughout the whole nation. It is also highly recommended to set a more standardized medium of instruction and to attend to the issue of education-job mismatch which is very visible in society nowadays by attracting leaders of businesses and industry to actively participate in the improvement of education and trainings. And Filipinos should always be reminded that education is an essential asset that helps people to work out other bigger problems and to have a good take off for development.