Education for the Poor

Published on ORACLE ThinkQuest / the begar’s hand,  not dated nor authores.

The poor never really placed education as one of their top priorities. More importance was given to basic needs such as food and shelter. As it turns out, food and shelter are both categorized under basic needs, which is needed for immediate survival, while education (and health care) on the other hand, is an essential need  necessary for future survival. In most cases, the poor, having only limited income and resources, forgo future survival, for immediate survival just to make ends meet in their daily expenditures. 

For families earning around P50,000-P59,999 ($1,315-$1,579) annually, 57.6% of that amount is already allocated for food alone. 18.6% is handed for shelter, 3.7% is for clothing, 3.2% is for transport, and 12.7% for other expenses. Education and medical care are both in the bottom list with 2.4% and 1.8%education1.jpg (20384 bytes) respectively (National Statistics Office). These figures abide by the Engle law, wherein the percentage of food increases as income decreases which suggests a climbing intensity of poverty in the other basic needs. In short, the poorer the family, the more importance is given to basic needs and education gets neglected in the process.

Education always had a part in the Philippine government’s policies. Ever since the introduction of free schooling for primary education in 1946, numerous programs and projects have been launched to supply education to the entire population. Unfortunately, as promising as these programs were, some key factors were overlooked, thus resulting in an ironic deterioration of the educational system. Instead of reaping the products of these programs, the backfire education3.jpg (18631 bytes)only entrenched the rooting problem.

One of the key elements is that the government gave more priority to the quantity of admission, rather than to the quality of education. The government paid little attention to other factors such as facilities and teacher salaries, and only concentrated on getting classrooms filled and overcrowded. In most cases, public schools had to take shifts in order to accommodate such large volumes of students. Therefore, cutting down on lessons and subjects taken per day. Add to that, teachers often have to manage with obsolete equipment because of inadequate funding. Since their salaries are low, only a handful prefer the teaching profession, thus increasing the ratio between pupil and teacher. As a result, he/she has to handle a bigger volume of students making the quality of education degraded … //

… This crisis raises the stakes on the productivity level of the future workforce. As it turns out, the highest educational attainment for 72% of all poor households is primary education. Plus, more than 50% of all children who don’t finish Grade 6 already drop out as early as Grade 1. This means that at tender ages of 7-8 years, these children are cursed to a life of poverty. In addition, 67% of children, who get to finish the intermediate levels don’t even proceed to high school. Finally, for those who enter secondary schooling, they drop out after their first or second year. At this rate, almost 55% of those entering the labor force will only have attained first year high school education. These staggering figures pose a big gamble indeed for the country’s economic progress.

Most of the OFWs decided to leave the country for a brighter future for their families. But even before they could leave, they have to pay certain pre-departure fees. The government earns 25.9 M pesos from sea based and 40.0 M pesos from land based processing fees alone. (full text).

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