Only 10% of every 100 Pupils in Basic Education get to College-A A +A
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
ONLY 8 to 10 of every 100 pupils who enter basic education will possibly get a college education, according to a recent study on Philippine education.
Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito (Lone District, San Juan City), author of House Bill 6465 is proposing that a portion of the funds generated by PAGCOR be utilized to finance the State universities and colleges.
"I wish these data were wrong. This is indeed an upsetting situation which must be addressed immediately," Ejercito said.
"This situation prompted the heads of state colleges and universities to beg from the kind benevolence of lawmakers who have the heart for education. These heads are even using fund-raising schemes courtesy of their faculty, alumni and student bodies just to stay afloat - year after year," Ejercito said.
The bill, which seeks to amend Section 12 of Presidential Decree 1869, is now under consideration by the Committee on Games and Amusement, chaired by Rep. Amado Bagatsing (5th District, Manila).
Under Ejercito's proposal, "10 percent of the PAGCOR's gross income shall be set aside as financial support to the State universities and colleges."
The proposal will be included in Section 12 of PD 1869, which reads that "after deducting five percent as franchise tax, the 50 percent share of the government in the aggregate gross earnings of the corporation from this franchise, or 60% if the aggregate gross earnings be less than P150,000,000, shall immediately be set aside and shall accrue to the General Fund to finance the priority infrastructure development projects and to finance the restoration of damage or destroyed facilities due to calamities, as may be directed or authorized by the Office of the President of the Philippines."
"As more and more young people waste away in the slums, streets and sweatshops, the country suffer from an intellectual and moral drain," Ejercito said.
Ejercito noted that since the Arroyo administration, there is a downward trend in terms of State subsidy to public tertiary education.
"The lack of educational opportunities for young people is truly one of the worst tragedies that we witness," Ejercito said.
The 2009 report of the National Statistical Coordination Board, recognizing that one in six school-age-children is deprived of education, tells us of what is in store in our country’s future. The enrollment rate in our primary school five years ago, was 90 percent. In 2008, it dropped to 83 percent, and the number is rising. The situation is worse for secondary education, where enrollment rate has been steady at only 59 percent over the same period. Unfortunately, this has been going on in decades. Past government administrations are equally guilty of negligence to check the increasing numbers of illiterate Filipinos. Illiteracy to me means the difficulty of a person to read and write, and even if he or she can read or write, the comprehension is low and have difficulty following simple written instructions. Education has been in the backburner and no serious effort was made to make it a major strategy for our progress.
Education has a dramatic effect on economic development and growth. In fact, other countries are starting to realize how drop-out rates affect to their economies. In the Philippines, nobody knows the extent of its effect. It appears that we lost sight of the implications of this issue, because there is no statistical data to show how much was lost in terms of peso value due to school drop-outs and illiteracy. What I am saying is that, it is not only lost opportunity to get better income, but the government also lost tax revenues from a productive and competitive population.
School non-completion affects so many things. It increases criminal activity, and adds to cost of prison and welfare services. By simply following a simple linear cause and effect analysis, they have lower lifetime earnings which reduce buying power, lower tax revenues for governments and reduce economic growth. When you extend your analysis, it results to decreased health status, more criminal activity, higher rates of teen pregnancy and single motherhood. Wherever you look at it, there are just higher costs all around. Aside from those stated, the education system has direct effect on future economic growth. A major consideration of a business to invest in a country or in a community, is the economic impact data. Part of this data is the education achievement of the community, along with items such as transportation and workforce development.
With the present condition, we can’t hardly make the first cut because companies will see they don’t have a pipeline to supply them with the workforce they need. We can no longer deny that the manufacturing sector cannot sustain the rising need for employment, and high-tech jobs are coming on. It is expected that majority of the jobs created over the next 10 years will be high-tech. How can this country compete if many of our population didn’t even finish elementary school? We are already seeing economic development pass us. The issue at hand should not only be viewed from the perspective of children dropping-out of school and the inability of their parents to find better jobs. It is about lost opportunities - lost lifetime earnings of those who were deprived of education, lost revenues for the government, and lost opportunity for this country to catch-up with our already developed neighbors. We need not fight over it now. The government should take the lead, to bring all the players to the table and define a strategic education plan. Other sectors are waiting. I am sure the business leaders are hungry to know what they can specifically do to help.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 12, 2012.