Education and Millennium Development Goals

Report Card shown at GMA 7 tonight is a call for action not only for the government but to each and everyone who has the means and who care enough for the unprivileged and the country.

It seems to be a story direct from the imagination of the Indie movie writers but the stark reality has made me wonder what I can do to alleviate this situation. The quality of education in the country (Philippines) is deteriorating due to many factors, first, the passing rate of the teachers board examination is on a downward trend, meaning we do not have intelligent people who wants to be in the teaching profession. Second, there is insufficient number of teacher compared to students in the public school, in Metro Manila, there are schools with two (2) or three (3) shifts, meaning at least three (3) hours in school for students. Third, lack of classroom even in highly urbanized city like Quezon City, there are some with 70 students in a class plus the 3 classes to be held in a single room.

Report card showed the lack of school supplies in a Manobo tribe school, the students are using banana leaf and charcoal as writing materials. They are using a structure which is not suitable for classroom, with thatch roof that drips water inside when raining and dirt floor and the students are going to school barefoot.

In Malabon in an area where the residents are flooded all year round, the families have to use a makeshift banca to go around and for the children to go to school. In some parts of the country the teachers have to pay their daily wage just to go to school. It is an absurd situation that twelve years after the country together with other countries of the world has committed on the MDGs with education as one of the goals, we are very far from giving the right access of education to children. MDGs are set to be accomplished by 2015.

The big number of lacking school buildings and classrooms and qualified teachers are the biggest problem in the country. Education changes lives and gives people the choices and opportunities they deserve. This is a problem of development, an issue of governance. Governance is rooted in social responsibility, the government, the private businesses, professionals, non-government organizations, private individuals, you and I . It should be a shared commitment by everyone.



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