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By Neni Sta. Romana Cruz
“Education that teaches people to ask questions” was how Drew Gilpin Hurst, the 28th and the first woman president of the 375-year-old Harvard University, described the kind of education that matters in a recent television interview.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro is right in inviting donors to consider total makeovers of target public schools (“Do school makeovers, Luistro asks donors,” News, 3/24/14). To be sure, many of our public schools require complete makeovers to make them conducive to learning. But renovations, especially those involving repainting jobs, must be done safely to ensure the health and safety of our children and the workers themselves.
By Ernesto M. Pernia
A plethora of explanations has been advanced as to why the Philippines falls well behind the other four Asean originals (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia). These range from the protectionist policies for “infant industries,” political instability particularly in the 1980s that practically shooed Japanese FDIs (foreign direct investments) to our neighbors, weak governance and dysfunctional institutions, to poor infrastructure, rapid population growth, brain and skills drain from massive emigration, etc. While all these likely mattered one way or another, little is said about the underinvestment in education in general and in science and technology (S&T) in particular. Being a public good, education and S&T create positive externalities and, hence, tend to be privately underconsumed and undersupplied especially in terms of quality.
I would like to thank Ceres Doyo for her inspiring column “From Payatas to St. Scho, magna cum laude” (Opinion, 3/27/14). I had moist eyes after reading the article because I saw myself in Jessa Bacala’s place some 50 years ago.
By Edilberto C. de Jesus
Let a thousand flowers bloom! With the end of the academic year, it is harvest time again for colleges and universities. Over 550,000 graduates are hoping they will not be left withering on the vine.
This is in reaction to the article titled “‘Worst’ teacher schools named, closure urged” by Dona Z. Pazzibugan, published in the Inquirer last March 19. The article cited our school as one of the 10 “worse or worst-performing,” as reported “for their consistent low passing rate in the biannual Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).”
By Aldan S. Avila
For one night I was back in high school. Literally and figuratively.
By Bernardine F. Almazan
I will soon be moving on to college. Time goes by so fast that I didn’t realize it until representatives of colleges and universities started coming to our school to present what their institutions had to offer. And I knew that this was what the adults had been talking about.
May we clarify a news report carried by the Inquirer, specifically regarding the closure of Asian College of Science and Technology-Dumaguete Campus (“‘Worst’ teacher schools named; closure urged,” News, 3/19/14).
NOWHERE DOES the song refrain “climb every mountain, ford every stream … till you find your dream” apply more literally, if a bit grimly, than to Filipino school-age children in the far-flung barangays.
By Butch Hernandez
EVERY YEAR since 2008, Br. Armin Luistro has been leading a truly heartwarming multi-stakeholder initiative—National Teachers Month (Sept. 5-Oct. 5). When they started throwing ideas around with a small group composed of private individuals and representatives of corporate foundations, Brother Armin and Metrobank Foundation president Chito Sobrepeña set modest goals: Everyone was welcome to join, participation was purely voluntary and self-funded, and the activities could be as simple or as elaborate as creativity would allow, budgetary restrictions notwithstanding.
By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Payatas in Quezon City is often pictured as a landscape most foul, a garbage dump, the receptacle of the city’s refuse. I’ve been there thrice: to do stories on a woman who turned scraps into exquisite underwear, on a thriving Church microlending cooperative for the poor, and, in 2000, on the collapse of the garbage dump, burying hundreds of waste pickers (mangangalahig).