Maanne Ilagan Lopez
A WORK IN PROGRESS

Passion for Education

Blue and Silver June-July 2008

Papertalk

Passion for Education

It’s forgivable for a baby to wail when he’s starving, but not for a grown up. Who would bother? He’s old enough to find something that will satisfy his grumbling tummy. I say almost the same logic applies to some of my fellow youth. Everyone has the right to express themselves, but the most conventional methods used are protest, noise barrage, march, etc. But these will not provide the answer to their problems, especially on matters concerning education.

When there’s oil price hike, unemployment, rice shortage, tuition fee increase, extreme poverty people say “OUST GLORIA!” Will that solve all the problems that the country is facing? It’s a given fact that the government has been unsatisfactory to needs of the Filipinos. Since in the early days, people has always been unsatisfied to what the government is giving to them. “The budget for the people lands inside the pockets of the greedy politicians.” I hear someone say. I can’t agree more with them. Corruption has been in the system of the political world and that problem is yet to be addressed.

Now what should be done? Weep like a baby until Mommy Gloria feed us? What I’m saying is that we can’t rely on the government alone. If your parents cannot support your education, then be a working student or apply for scholarship programs. If your parent’s income is not enough, will pointing the finger at the government be the best resolution? Of course not, go find another job. It’s not the government’s fault if one can’t get a job because of incompetence. The government has programs to help people, but one should also help himself. You want a high-paying job (who doesn’t?), but if that would be instantly given to you, soon it’ll be hauled off from you because the fact remains that you’re unqualified. You’ll earn your way to the top if you’re responsible enough. No need to rush.

***

“Sagot sa kahirapan? Walkout! Walkout! Walkout sa klase!” This was the answer of some youth who walked out from their class last July 18, and take note, that was prelim week at PCU. I covered the event for the Blue and Silver, it’s a good thing my class starts at six. Only a few students from the University joined, probably because mostly are taking examinations. I’m glad that PCU students prioritized their schoolwork. Streets are no place for students, not on a school day. If they really want to shout along the streets, then do it on a weekend. In analogy, school: student: study. Therefore the street is no place for students to study. As upcoming educators, leaders and professionals, the youth should prepare themselves for the future. They said they are having hard time looking for money to finance their education. If that’s the case then they should struggle harder to pursue their studies, they can no longer afford to be absent in their classes. They should study and learn the education they deserve from what they are paying for. Student activists fight for their right to education, but are they still able to study well when they stay on the streets instead of listening to the professor’s lecture at their respective schools?

It would be forgivable if what they’re protesting is the continuous increasing cost of education despite its declining quality, and on a weekend. Such cases exist, I know second grade elementary students who still don’t know how to read and write their ABC’s. There are also a number of high school and college students who can’t construct proper sentences. Wait! Again, before pin pointing whose liability it is, stop, blaming will not solve the problem. Teachers should not have sympathy for failing students to the extent of passing them, because if they will pass those who do not deserve, it’s a loss for the both of them. Students might feel insecurities, at the same time the teacher’s ability will be questioned.

I experience it. Sad to say. Although I’m among the best when I was in high school, I knew I didn’t have the best education I could’ve had. If only I had better teachers. Well I don’t, mean all, but some of them. I went to PCU and was astounded with the teachers’ expectations – that we already know the lessons that should’ve been taught to us when we were in high school. As for me, I was challenged and fortunately, still emerged among the top of the class in most of my courses. But to think, PCU is not the best university, and that fact keeps me worried if I get the quality education I need to be competitive when I step into the bigger world outside the four walls of PCU.

I don’t blame the government or PCU for not giving me the best education I deserve. But no one can’t deny the inconvenient truth that the country needs a progress in the education system. And when I say system, it’s not only the government, not only the school administration and faculty, but also the students because we compose the majority and we play the key role also as future educators. Each of us has our own role to play, and the progress we’re all wanting will only happen if there will be a collective effort from everybody.

***

Although Manny Pacquiao won the WBC lightweight championship, the people’s champ is often ridiculed every time he begins speaking his renowned “Pacman English.” He may not have a good accent, proper pronunciation and good grammar, but if you have good comprehension, you’ll notice that he answers right to the point. Pacman is improving and he knew his need to enhance not only his language, but the totality of his education. It’s very much inspiring that a millionaire like him still enrolled at the Notre Dame University in General Santos. I hope everyone will realize the importance of education. Money can’t buy education. There is no other way to achieve it but to study.

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