Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Jejemon? Sex?" Crisis in Philippine Education

"Jejemon? Sex?"
Crisis in Philippine Education

by Lualhati Madlangawa-Guererro

Many people started to wake up early as classes hath started yesterday. From doing morning chores of breakfast, bath and byes, these people, commonly known as the youth, seemingly exited to see their friends and foes in the palace of learning, or I should say school.

But then,
Despite all these, I even notice that same problems remained intact in regards to education-related affairs. And instead of focusing on improving the basics, the Department of Education focused rather on "Jejemons" and "Sex Education" as one of the problems. The latter seemed serious to discussed as Pilipino population grows fast, but the former? A mere attack on a subculture that in fact also being criticized by many.

And somehow these two also become a target of criticism by Vencer Crisostomo, a Pilipino activist. Along with the youth in Mendiola, near the Presidential palace, Vencer criticized first the soldiers standing within Malacanang territory and even comparing the policemen (or activists?) by telling the former as "bad" while the latter as "good." Of telling that they may beat them with batons and be fired with water from a fire hose, only to be replied with the students going to the mountains and willing to become warriors!

But one message seemingly "seriously laughable" (since I, listening to his words made me a bit laughing) as he, criticizing the status of education from primary to tertiary, said:
"Jejemon? Sex?"
Referring to the two "Problems" the Department of Education trying to solve, he seemed that the department does not seriously focus on the major problems and instead focusing on "unserious" problems especially in regards to the Jejemon subculture. And I even think that the education system, focusing much on creating labor power for the elite and of the uitlander (a Boer term for a foreigner) than of its people and worse, making students and even parents facing difficulty of paying fees while the Educators focusing much on the two as what Vencer Crisostomo said?

In a nation wherein poverty remained rampant despite the alleged "growth" of the economy (courtesy of Election spending and of OFW remittances), of rising infrastructures "personalized" by the President, also affects the status of Education regardless of the "achievements" the system made, that in fact contradicts the reality, as according to Crisostomo's blogsite:

Here are some facts and figures illustrating the worsening Philippine education crisis as school year 2010-2011 enters:

Primary and secondary

* Out-of-school youth (6-15 y/o) – 8 M
* Enrollment for Prep, Elementary and HS – 23 M
* % enrolled in public schools – 86

Shortages and deteriorating quality

* Classrom size – 1:85 up to 100
* Ideal classroom size – 1:25
* Classroom shortage – 71,325
* Teacher shortage – 49,699
* Armchair shortage – 4M
* Textbook shortage – 34.7M

* % of schools w/o science labs – 22
* w/o ventilation – 20
* w/o lighting – 27
* w/o electricity – 55
* w/o ceiling – 25


* Gov’t budget for 2010-2011 – P159 B
* Gov’t budget per day per school age Filipino – P6.85

* % of educ budget of GDP
* 2001 – 3.3
* 2008 – 2.19
* UN recommendation – 6

* Est expenses per child per year in public school – P25,000

* Add’l budget needed to cover shortages – P91.54 billion

Drop outs

Out of 10 students entering grade 1, only 6 will finish grade 6. 5 will enter high school and only 4 will finish 4th year. 2 will enter college and only 1 will be able to finish.


* Enrollment – 2.7 M
* Public Institutions – 1,494
* State colleges and universities – 522

Tuition hikes

* Schools to increase tuition 2010 – 382
* Schools increased tuition 2009 – 258
* % of average increase – 8.71%
* Natl average tuition rate per unit 2010 – P501.22
* Natl average tuition rate per unit 2001 – P257.41
* NCR average tuition rate per unit 2010 – P980.54
* NCR average tuition rate per unit 2001 – P439.59
* Average 20 units plus other fees – P25-40,000
* Revenue of country’s top 5 school earners for the past 6 yrs – P15.43 billion
* University of the Philippines (UP) tuition per unit – P1,000
* No. of newly approved UP lab fees for SY 2010 – 36
* Amount of newly approved UP lab fees – P500-1,500

This shows how the system's negligence despite "achievement", of seeing increasing dropouts, unemployed graduates, tuition and other fees while a government department focusing much on a subculture also being criticized.

And for sure most activists and the like know what solution for this kind of problem is.