The Kabataan Party list data has it that in the school year 2008-2009 the country had 4.7 million out-of-school youth — two million of elementary-age and 2.7 million of high school-age. Out of every 100 children who enter Grade 1, only 66 will finish elementary school, a pitiful 43 can go through high school and a woeful 14 can finish college. Statistics from years past were pretty much the same.
While the Department of Education counters that just about a million children will be unable to enroll comes school year, even their “modest” estimate is too much. Basic education is supposed to be free and the constitution provides it should get the lion’s share of the annual budget.
Ironically PNoy decided to reduce the 2011budget of state colleges and universities (SCUs.) This year’s proposed budget for SCUs is P23.4 billion or 1.7 percent less than the 2010’s. Kabataan Party said this is tantamount to PNoy abandoning his duty to provide the youth with affordable and quality education, and these despite his pronouncement that he is making education a priority in his watch. It is but commonsense that students who could barely afford college enroll in SCUs, more so with the continuous tuition fee hike in private colleges and universities. The LGUs can throw in a lot in this concern, and darn lucky many Angeles City youth will be as Mayor Edgardo ‘EdPam’ Pamintuan committed to this initiative. He deserves more than a pat as he moved as early as the second half of 2010 for the construction of a city college which will accommodate deserving students for quality education.
This came in the heels of an approved Sangguniang Panglunsod resolution authorizing EdPam to renegotiate the P821-million loan inked between the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) and the former city administration for what everyone in the city now know as the construction of the Angeles Sports Coliseum!
The SP resolution authorizes EdPam to amend and negotiate the Term Loan Agreement of the city government with the PVB not exceeding P600 million of the aforecited amount marked for the sports coliseum to construct a new facility for the city hospital and to modify for the accommodation of an educational facility.
EdPam now heads towards a concern his immediate predecessors left unaddressed. The last two city heads’ families own two of the biggest private educational institutions here.
Given EdPam’s track record it is expected that only the well equipped and competent teachers with deep sensitivity to student needs will be hired to teach.
Meanwhile a local “educational” institution here deserves flak and should do some soul searching. This university is dressed by its owners as “catholic” and its school registrar admitted their negligence for hiring at least one recidivist child molester to teach.
Not a unique case and no quick fix there as the “deified” university chose to take the cudgel of its recidivist professor instead of the victim. This professor has a record of molesting for years his female minor students from the previous schools where he taught before he was hired in that University.