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Today’s noteworthy heroes

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:09:00 11/27/2009

Filed Under: Heroism, Education, Awards and Prizes

1. It?s not just the Arroyo administration?s fault that we have a ?sorry state of education? in the country. Yes, the education system has been in a sorry state even before this administration. The education budget isn?t even approved by the country?s president. Shouldn?t we be blaming Congress instead? Blaming everything on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seems more like we are under a dictatorship rather than a democratic country. There?s a system and there are existing branches of the government that contribute to our failure. And take note, the Dynamic Teen Co. (DTC) founded by Efren Peñaflorida has been in existence for the past 12 years. The present administration is just nine years old.

Not that I agree with the President. I agree that Peñaflorida should be given the highest honor. The Filipino people need heroes like him to look up to.

2. The government plans to give him a ?lavish welcome.? Don?t government officials see that Peñaflorida would rather have funds for his cause than waste money for a P25,000-per plate party? Yes, the government is giving him a cash gift of P250,000, but how much is it spending for this lavish welcome? Why doesn?t it give the millions to DTC and spend only P250,000 for the welcome party? P250,000 is grand enough for a welcome party, isn?t it?

3. Instead of giving Peñaflorida just a cash gift, why don?t government officials also try to study why his methods work and our current education system doesn?t? DTC didn?t need any classrooms. Isn?t this a clue to finding a more viable solution to the lack of classrooms?

Peñaflorida?s methods also show that our main problem isn?t the lack of classrooms. It?s in the lack of importance that the Filipino people give to education. Budgets for education are never enough. Parents would prefer that their kids go to work immediately rather than study. There are classes in India that are held under the trees. A former Indian colleague said that three to four students share a book and a desk in rural areas in India. Yet, these kids always go to school. They study all the way to college, find jobs and find ways to get their master?s degrees. Even if they have a family already, they borrow money from relatives and leave their jobs to get their master?s degrees even from schools outside India. That?s how much importance they give to education; with higher education, they believe they have a better chance of moving up in life.

Peñaflorida and Manny ?Pacman? Pacquiao show us the truth in the saying ?If there?s a will, there?s a way.? Pacquiao is an example of a person who rose from nothing by willing to excel in his chosen field. He?s an example of determination and discipline combined. Peñaflorida and Pacquiao are noteworthy heroes of today?s generation.


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