Thursday, June 02, 2005

Philippines: Alert to Education

UPDATE: According the Peter Wallace who wrote in the Manila Standard Today, the low quality education in Philippines needs to be seriously addressed by the government and even the Catholic churches as well. You can read more about his article "Low Quality of Education: The Numbers Say it All"

We regconize education is a right and not a privilege. It should always access to everyone without favor and prejudice. At the same time, we do concern about the development of the quality of the education today. The commodification of the education already undermined the purpose of the education to liberate the people from their current situation. In another word, the social mobility of a person is valid when they received education.

To date, these aims seems more difficult and full of obstacles. The structure poverty affects more and more people. Many children and young people out of school due to several reasons such as armed conflict, wars and even lack of financial support. More seriously, those out of the school children and young people become the unemployed forces. They become the social instability elements for many governments.

Peter Wallace provided us with concrete examples:

Of every 100 children that enter primary school, 33 fail to finish, and of those that finish, only 66 enter secondary school.

Of those in high school, 19 give up during schooling. So only 45 out of the 100 finish.

100 Enter primary school
33 Drop out / Fail
67 Finish primary school
66 Enter secondary school
19 Drop out / Fail
45 Finish secondary school
26 Enter college
19 Drop out / Fail
7 Finish college

What kind of jobs can 10 years of inadequate schooling entitle you to?

What is the cause of the poor result of the students? For Peter Wallace, money is one of the causes. He used the Per Capita Budget for Education of selected countries in the Asia Pacific:

Country Per capita budget
Australia $3,981
Japan $3,872
Singapore $1,582
Thailand $1,048
Thailand $852
Philippines $138

The important message from Peter Wallace is the government needs to act far beyond the levels they are today or the country children will destine to life of poverty.