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Education amidst poverty

By Miss Adime G. Gulmatico


We Filipinos are special, so special that we are literally "admired" throughout the globe. Our rich
past brings to view a glorious future. Foreigners have looked up to our archipelago; from our
Malayan forefathers to our colonizers and invaders. Being the only Christian-Catholic nation in
Asia adds to our fame.
Since the Malays arrived in our country, education paved its way to the Filipino society. Since
the Spanish colonization, private education for the elite people of the society and for those who
gained scholarships from the Spanish friars flourished. When the Americans came, the
Thomasites taught public education, with the English language as medium of instruction (no
wonder we speak English well!). The Thomasites were the first public school teachers then. They
were the forerunners of Philippine public education.
Public education in our islands would be the reason why our country is one of the few which
have the highest literacy rate in Asia. Yet there seems to be a turn of events as reported in
National Achievement Tests given to all public and private schools in our country. Most Filipino
school children lack the necessary competencies and skills in English, Mathematics, and Science.
We who are privileged enough to study in prestigious institutions may not seem to mind these
reports. "So what?" many would say. Yet, it's quite alarming if most of our young leaders are
moving towards mediocrity.
Public education in the country has produced outstanding Filipino people who excel in various
fields ranging from beauty to science. It has produced leaders and individuals who are now
renowned throughout the globe
Tuition fees have increased in most private schools and statistics show that public school
children who enroll in first grade can't even complete the second grade. Others can only attain
basic education (elementary and secondary) because of poverty.
Poverty creeps its way to Philippine society more like a dreaded disease or an oil spill. It infects
almost all aspects of its victims: food, clothing, shelter, education and many others. The Filipino
youth is affected by poverty which hinders them to go to school.
That's the major reason behind our dropping literacy rate!
How privileged we are! Yes, we are fortunate. With all that our school can offer, but why do most
of us still tend to be absent from class? Others do wayward, things, taking their education for
granted. What a shame…
Those students in barrios and other remote areas would really want to go to a school like ours,
with their friends full of hope that one day they will free their families from poverty through
education.
Children, we are blessed to have parents and family who support us. Let us not take our
education for granted. Let's be diligent and determined to succeed in our studies.
from: The News Today, August 14, 2008