Student’s welfare-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
WHAT makes the proposed law interesting is that, for the first time, our elders have taken notice of the importance of our nation’s young. This is the first time I am aware of that the welfare of our youth has seriously drawn the attention of our leaders.
But the bill has been pending discussion and approval in the legislative branch for some two decades already, according to reports.
The reason behind the delay is obvious. There is a clash of interest going on in Congress over the bill. Some lawmakers, as well as many other personalities who are owners of educational institutions, hold genuine interest in the bill. But what is truly important is the students’ welfare.
For the first time since the bill was filed, the National Youth Commission (NYC) held a series of consultation with the people nationwide. Last Friday was the commission’s last stop.
One member told some stories about a college that refused admission to a student because he was gay, while another turned away a young girl because she was pregnant, reasons that violate the students’ right to education and personal advancement.
The report carried by this daily over the weekend said that a poster enumerates rights that are guaranteed “by the (proposed) bill, such as the right to participate in the decision-making of the (institution), right to expression, right against discrimination, right to organize, right to (have) competent instruction and relevant quality education.
These rights are basic to the students in order to be assured of a basic quality education, and thus truly substantial learning.
At the moment, however, having had experience in teaching in a public elementary school when I was just 19 years old and a fresh high school graduate, I can say that the family’s economic state is an important factor in the pupils’ ability to learn.
Thus, in the final analysis, the nation’s economic state becomes a pre-condition for the capacity to learn and the quality of learning teachers could impart.
In the proposed students’ welfare bill, certain provisions have long been the bone of contention between student leaders and school officials, such as the right to representation in the policy-making process, right to organize and the right to have a student publication or school organ (although in most cases, schools in the region grant this right).
Right now, it is said Central Visayas has 160 private and government colleges and universities. In the secondary and elementary level, Cebu province has eight school divisions with 295 public high schools, and 1,116 public elementary schools. Last year, there were 182,293 high school population and 448,850 elementary school pupils.
I think, there are a lot of mouths to feed here, and a lot of youths’ welfare to take care of.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 03, 2013.