Nathalie Dagmang 2010-24702 BFA Sculpture

June 15, 2011 Eng 11 WFU3

Today's topic of discussion was not new to me. Being a UP student for about 13 years (I have been studying in UP since kindergarten), I had already been part of many discussions concerning the issue of the commercialization of education. Until now, my stand on the issue remains the same: that how the Philippine government is giving the least importance and priority to the public education should be changed. This fact was made obvious by the minimal budget that the government allots for the funding of education and the implemented deregulation and privatization of educational institutions. When I was still studying in UPIS, I had already seen the effects of these policies to the quality and accessibility of education in state universities. Our room setting was not usually comfortable. The ceilings were blackened and bore large holes and cracks where the rainwater enters during the rainy season. Sometimes, we had to move the chairs aside to avoid getting wet and give space to a number of pails that catch the water. We often got distracted by the drippings and the sounds that the old fluorescent lights make when they flicker due to old age. The number of computers at the computer lab was not enough to equip us all, the toilets lacked flushes and water—to name only a few of the many deficiencies in facilities in our school. In fact, the school only experienced slight improvements in terms of facilities because of the efforts of the Parent-Teachers’ Association (PTA). My parents, in particular, make it a point that we donate at least one thousand pesos to the organization to aid them in improving the school. As I can remember, during my time in UP High School, not even one project was funded by the school itself. All renovation projects were funded by the PTA or the UPIS Alumni Association. It’s a shame that not everyone is privileged to have access to quality education. We, UP students, are very lucky to have quality education even though we experience the shortcomings of the government. I think it is the students’ urge and determination to maximize their privileges from UP that helps them maintain the quality of education in the University. With the aid of rallies, petitions and other student movements, the voice of the students are heard by the officials and, at times, are acted upon by them. At present, the UP students are experiencing yet another challenge from the administration: the new STFAP bracketing system where all students are by default under Bracket A unless proven otherwise. This new system, in my opinion, may actually lessen the enrollees at the university. Those who belong to the lowest bracket, for example, may have no means to prove that they do belong to this bracket since they do not have any access to the required documents such as the ITR. Even those who belong to the upper brackets may be truly at their respective brackets, however could not be supported by their parents’ income because of their large family’s demands (like if their parents have twelve children or some of them have some special needs because of a disability or sickness). Education, I think, is the most crucial aspect of the nation’s development. It is the status of education in the country that truly affects the productivity of its citizens. It molds the Filipinos into citizens who can help develop the country’s economic, political and global status. Through education, they are taught the necessary values, skills and knowledge that will equip them in the future.

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