Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Windmill of Philippine Educational System



photo by missioncreep


Celebrations, sad background music from Mr. Lauchengco and cases of booze have already ended and our fresh graduates are now faced by the stinging reality of landing a job that they dreamt of and they deserve. Many are flocking the registrars’ office snaking their way through the empty halls to get their papers, and then some of them will soon battle it out with other fellow graduates to gain the favors of their prospective employers.

But many of them are completing their papers to get their Transcript of Records (TOR) sealed with a red ribbon and immediately fly to work on foreign lands with thoughts behind their minds of a better life.

The exodus of many of our compatriots and most saddening of our fresh graduates in the past recent years is not something remote. Rather this phenomenon that results to the breakdown of our country like termites eating the very foundation of a home comes from a system that we were first forced to live with and now condoned to have; a culture that we now call our own. And the growing numbers of the best and the brightest that we have leaving our country to get what they deserve is only one of the serious problems that this windmill brought us about. And have we taken ourselves on this ride?

My heart is always torn into many shattered pieces whenever students approach me and say, “Kuya, I am going to stop from going to school. My parent cannot afford to pay my tuition anymore.” Or whenever I am faced by words from other people everytime I share about the topic of education for the poor; peppering me with sharp words saying “How can you say that you are for the poor when your tuition fee for a nursing course for one semester is P70,000?” I am not an apologist, and I have no other recourse but to give the affirmative to their opinions.

I came across this table of tuition fees from a financial planning blog, and hope it will give us at least a peek into the windmill of our educational system.



Looking at the table, though it may not be that accurate, we are still seeing a problem that the educational system of our country has espoused for the longest years. With high tuition fees skyrocketing to amounts unimaginable to millions of Filipino youth, having a good education is now mostly nothing but a daydream if not a nightmare.

Imagine this scenario: One of our students takes up a nursing course that she has to complete for four years (and now the Commission on Higher Education wants to extend it to a 5-year course). Every semester she pays P70,000 for her tuition fee of which when she reaches her 3rd year and 4th year, her tuition fee dramatically increases to P80,000 per semester! These numbers of course excludes all the miscellaneous fees and other expenses the she has to incur during her studies. If I may compute, one of our student is going to pay approximately a staggering P600,000 as tuition fees alone for her four-year nursing course. I could have already sold all my kidney and internal organs to foreigners but could not yet have this amount to send a child to school for a nursing course. Maybe selling some illegal drugs would do? Hmmm…

This scenario which is not far from reality breeds the following problems and issues in our educational system which should have been aiming to educate our young for nation-building.

1. Because we only want to give quality education as a lasting gift that no could steal from our children, we are forced to send them to these expensive (and almost always Catholic schools) which let us all admit are really the best that we have in the country. And since the government is only giving priority to kickbacks and commissions on government projects, our educational system has been left on the hands of the giant schools and built and culture of “elitist educational system”.

Suffice it to say that this has widen the gap between the reach and the poor; with the poor looking up and rich staring down to the millions of people who are living at the fringe of the loot.

2. This elitist educational system which certainly is a spring of so many prevalent issues in the country that has forgotten to build its own nation leads to an elitist system of job seeking and giving. Many may argue but so many companies mostly if not, only accept graduates from our local Ivy League schools. They are those who work from cubicles and board rooms and those graduates from some unknown school located in a far-flung barrio infested by NPAs end up doing the dirty work. This may not be the general rule in the workplace but it is the prevalent system that the lowly has to endure.

3. The exodus of our young talented and skilled people is mostly also results from this system of education that we have come to embrace. Let me go back to the scenario I presented above. After graduation, that student of mine after passing the board exam went on the work for two years in a private hospital here in the province in order to gain experience and go abroad. Her monthly salary is a meager P10,000 as a nurse! And this will still shrink down after all taxes and other payments are to be deducted from her pay. And for sure, it is always a melodramatic moment whenever she takes a peek at her pay slip; that if she even tries to take a peek at it.

After she spent more than half a million pesos for her education to become a nurse, after her parents sold some of their farm lands and livestock, and barrowed money from some 5/6 men on scooter, this is the salary that she only has to receive. Common sense and our innate disposition will naturally drive us for the best and just that we deserve. And there is nothing else than going abroad for which my Aunt who is a nurse in the UK receives £1,800 every month!

Education so they say is an investment, and investors are clever, not lunatic or chimps, to put on the table hot cash and leave the room empty handed; at least they need to get even. Parents toil their hearts out to send their children to school not to indulge from the labors of their children when they already have their own jobs but to make sure that their children will live the good life, far much better than what their parents endured.

4. Sad to say, I could see that this system of education that we have, because of the sheer incompetence of our government is something that we have come to embrace and espoused as ours. It has become a culture that is eating up the very fiber of our nation economically, morally and intellectually. The effect maybe is not as scary at the present but the continuous silence and denial of the government that is primarily tasked to pursue the equal good for both the rich and poor, will lead us to a day of reckoning of the things that we permitted to happen and the things we have come to accept and our excuse of helplessness or disenchantment would not suffice.

We will be slaves of our own making only until the day that we force a systemic change that should start from the way we teach our youth. The great Jose Rizal was totally right saying that the youth is the future of the motherland. And without the conscious effort to bridge the gap between the rich and poor that starts from our schools, playpens, churches, governments and homes, we will continue to called a nation of servants, with our brightest ending up as domestic helpers; something that they don’t deserve, a name that we don’t deserve, but contains morsels of truth in it.

We deserve something more, better, just nobler.

You may or may not agree with me, but this is just some of my ramblings while chirping tweet, tweet, tweet on my sleep.



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23 comments:

Snow said...

with all honesty, i believe that poor education lies to the fact that not all pinoy are really eager to earn a degree. pinoys are more eager kasi to earn money the fast way. :(

elmot said...

@snow: hi ate snow. i think the underlying reason for this one is because first, pinoys got tired of the fact that they cannot anyway get a good education without having lots of cash to spend; second, because of consumerism that the youth of today especially would want all things the easy way.

bloggista said...

Grabe. Ahehe, not so long ago, I only paid a total of 55,000 for a -year engineering course. Now that same school costs 150K - about 3 times but still, it's cheaper!!!

I don't believe that you need to go to a very well-known school to learn better or even land a better job.

Quality education is dependent on an individual's drive to learn and equip himself with the necessary knowledge to excel in whatever field he chooses in the future for the rest of his life.

When I was in college, I told my instructors that the reason why i don't participate in enumeration exams is that its useless - the real world won't require us to memorize things. I also told them that when students are dependent on instructors to learn - then they I pity them.

Probably the reason why they let me pass even if I was absent lots of times and only participated in Oral or written essay exams. LOL.

Jan said...

Maybe this was why I dropped out of college. As Mark Twain said I did not let schooling interfere with my education. lol

You're all smiles in your gravatar Elmot. I think you're up to something. You have hit your stride in making us think hard about the contemporary issues that beset Philippine society today.

And unbelievers would have us believe there's only wanton quest for entertainment online and in blog reading. You're starting to afflict my conscience, Elmot. On top of that you're making me think. Which is an anomaly in my carefree existence. lol.

Splendid post. Keep it coming. :)

Roy said...

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance"

who was it who said that?

anyway, I've seen a lot instances where poverty has been used by people as an excuse, NO, not just as an excuse but as a weapon... to justify everything they do, or in this case, something they don't want to do.

We've heard of lots of stories of people who really don't have anything, yet they persevered and succeeded.

Unfortunately, these breed are a rare species these days.

I don't think the cost of education will go down anytime now, and not in the near future, or perhaps (and most definitely) never will.

So when a student stop going to school because he can't afford it? Does he think he can do so, let's say a year after he stopped.

I can't afford my children's tuition fee, being without a job and all, but I don't see myself asking them to stop.

Lastly, the quality of one's education, as I found out later in my life, doesn't really depend on the teacher, the kind school one is going to, the kind of environment he is, and a lot of other perceived conditions... it all depends on the one who wants to learn.

pardon the long comment.

D★rwin said...

kuya, thanks sa comment! :)

maganda_214 said...

Hi thanks for dropping by and for the appreciation of my webpage :)

anyway, yeah i was the one who made it.. one of my artworks if you can call it art :) hehe..

GoD bless!

Eric of BlogDeManila(Philippine Blog) said...

hmmm...what can i say but, AMEN to Roy.

but sad to say... our educational system is already on the flat line because of greediness, by whom? i'm sure you know them already.

elmot said...

@ bloggista: i agree with you that a big part crucial part of success in education is one's inner drive. however, i believe that it should not always be the case for it it would be, then there should be educational system anymore; that would provide a systematic method of motivating, educating, evaluating, etc.

it would simply mean that education would simply become a jungle-like experience, survival of the fittest. :D

elmot said...

@jan: thanks for the compliments; hope i could live up to all your expectations, ehehe LOL

well, that is how things should be, all smiles...though our heart is aching...ehehe

afflict your conscience jan? ahaha! that is simply too much. now you are the one pricking my conscience why i made this post.

i think to simply put it, for me blogging is a big part of educating, emowering and affecting change to where we are...that is why i made this post, :D

elmot said...

@ roy: no need to pardon; your comment succintly made all your points valid.

education is indeed two-fold; an individual's inner drive to reach one's goal, and second, the system itself.

indeed, learning is not all about books or theories or laws, but it is all about life. but my tone in my post wanted to simply state that, education is for all, thus, putting aside each individual's financial, intellectual, moral and emotional capacity and goals to learn, the system of education or education should be first and foremost be made available to all..

thanks roy for your great comment!

i think this post deserves a follow-up, ehehe

elmot said...

@darwin & maganda: no prob, thanks for dropping by too.

you are always welcome here :D

elmot said...

@ eric: indeed, that is why, i want to put aside each individuals' capacity on getting a good education; for i want to put the spot light on the system, that is unfortunately being swallowed by greed of a few.

tahnks for dropping by eric. :D

bloggista said...

Actually, I was thinking the kind of education system we have is obsolete - and Im kinda worried my child will be sucked into the same system that has been useless for a time now.

Our current education system is flawed, inefficient, corrupt, superficial.

It has ceased to provide a methodical approach to learning, its not motivating - in other words, it has to be changed, with the changing times.

How, hehe, perhaps its worth another article else will bore your readers with a very long comment. Hehe. Nice one Mr. Elmot!

Jan said...

The windmill of my online education may have been exceedingly slow, but I'm learning every day.

It means I reassess every day what I value. Life is too short to be consumed by trivialities.

I saw you first as a pesky competitor in Jaypee's blog - an online Terminator who keeps coming and coming. Can't be put away.

Now, I've since warmed up to you and considered you as a friend. I'm relieved it's not a pissing contest anymore. As Roy pointed out - ignorance is going to cost you more.

I don't want to be bankrupted by my ignorance, post-schooling wise. That's why I keep coming here and trying to learn something every day. Through you and your other guests. :)

elmot said...

@bloggista: actually it is the same feeling that you have for your children that made me write this post. it is not really for me but for my children and to all the youth... it is just a sad reality that i don't want to perpetually permeate in our system of living as a nation. hirap noh...

thanks for pointing that out. after reading all your splendid and insightful comments, i believe that this post needs another post :D

thanks bro!

elmot said...

@jan: really: you saw me as a competitor at jaypee's? actually i felt it when i read your post regarding the rabid commentator on the loose, hehehe..

but that is life, we learn everyday, and i am just so thankful of having you as a buddy; for i am learning from you too everyday.

thanks bro! hehehe :D we will all blog together to the top!

Jan said...

Yeah, I felt that way THEN. And for clarity's sake, let me reassure you that rabid commentator on the loose I was talking about was Me. I felt a little strange making all those comments. It's my way of telling my readers: hey, look I might be this bad, but since I know I'm this bad there's hope for me still. It's a devious way of letting them in on how I operate, shocking them a little, and keeping my fingers crossed that they stay with me.

"We will blog together to the top!"
Super. Thanks, Elmot. Gosh, I wish you were my little bro. But hey, get in shape first. And take care of your health. The climb to the top is pretty stiff so it's best we're in top shape, all of us.

Word verification: mashea.

Darn! Now it's taunting me for being mushy. lol

elmot said...

ahaha! let me assure you too Jan that i have totally nothing to do with the word verification thing.

don't worry i am in shape now, thanks for the concern.

wow, gosh, im blushing. i will certainly be a very proud younger brother of yours at that. why not? Kuya Jan? ehehhe!

Issa said...

I graduated from PNU, a teacher-training university.. I believe that the gov't is doing sth to help the youth get quality education at an affordable cost..

Pls. don't ignore the fact that there are state universities and colleges with affordable tuition fees (e.g. PUP, PNU, RTU, EARIST,and TUP in Mla.)... the very reason me and my sisters earned college degrees and currently working in companies with decent salaries.

elmot said...

@issa: thanks for paying a visit here. i could see that you are one great product of our state universities, and i have really nothing against state universities. actually i could see that our state universities and public schools should be the forefront of quality education for everyone in which case have been lagged behind by our private schools maybe except UP when being ranked by international ranking educational agencies. what i am trying maybe to say is that, education in this sense has some cultural impacts that imprints in the consciuosness of people.

if given the right amount of money, many people would want to go to private universities with sky-high tuition fees, isn't it? which should not be the case.

Anonymous said...

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cagayan de oro schools said...

That's the sad reality regarding our education. now a days only those who are rich can afford education. you might get into college if you have not much money but probably you will also stop because you cant afford it anymore. T_T

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