THE following morning, while the farmer in charge of the organic agriculture elective talks to the students assigned with her at the kitchen: "Ako, bata pa ko kabalo na ko kay naa mi Home Economics. Ang gulay, hugasan sa bago himay-himayin kay ang mga duga niini, naa na'y mga nutrients."
For indeed home economics is no longer part of the basic education curriculum and children only get to be acquainted with the kitchen on national nutrition month.
In a time long ago, we all learned about the basics of kitchen chores, first from our mothers, then from Mrs. Elena F. Lo, our queen of home economics. She led us not only on kitchen chores and cooking, she also made us wear the white uniform with pink neckerchief and sing out with pride our role as... Future Homemakers of the Philippines, we are ever moving on. To bring better lives and to build better homes, now and in the years to come. We'll strive toward new horizons, ever ____ to reach our goals. Future Homemakers of the Philippines, so true, so brave so boooooold!"
Gone were those days, and a new generation of parents, guilty because they work in a faraway land to provide for the whole clan, make up for their absence by treating their children as princes and princesses, not even made to do the simplest house chores. A new generation of entitled self-centered children are thus nurtured.
In the education system, teachers give little attention to values education subject, using this time to do other teacher tasks like making lesson plans because they are not trained to see the value of values. No one wins competitions on this subject and it has very little bearing on the over-all average for academic excellence.
In the country's biggest education system for the intellectually gifted children, where givernment provides not only free tuition but provides monthly allowances as well, new scholars are welcomed by exubersnt speeches underlying their status as "the cream of the crop". The challenge is to excel in the sciences. No one among the graduates remembers if values education was part of their curriculum. They all remember the difficulty of their math subjects and the fixation to maintain high grades because dropping out is a guarantee toward being bullied in the outside world and regarded as a failure by the clan.
It's not uncommon for the students and graduates to discuss about the invalidity of the contract they signed upon entering the elite, government-funded school system. Highly intelligent as they are, it is easy for them to see the gaping loophole of the contract: they signed it when they were still minors. No, the value called debt of gratitude doesn't come to play here. After all, right at the very start, the seed of self-entitlement was planted: they are the cream of the crop.