By Maricris Irene V. Tamolang
While some schools in the Philippines serve as evacuation centers in times of calamities, none are especially designed to adapt to and withstand natural disasters.
The death of young men due to hazing has been deplored and documented. Some of the killers in previous incidents have been punished, but some hazing cases have dragged on for 20 years or so.
June is looming, along with the opening of classes in the elementary and secondary levels. The yearly opening in public schools is a difficult exercise marked by the sheer lack of classrooms and educational facilities and supplies for an exploding population; it promises to be doubly difficult in areas where the public education infrastructure is sorely in need of repair or upkeep.
By Cielito F. Habito
I recently caught a TV journalist’s encounter with three boys hauling farm produce as she chanced upon them on a mountain trail. She asked them if they go to school at all, and the boys answered yes. But they had been absent for two days to earn some money for their family. I encountered a similar case first-hand a few years ago when my research team chanced upon a little girl selling delicacies at the passenger dock in Masbate as we awaited the ferry to Pilar, Sorsogon. We were on a field study on rural poverty, and decided to interview our young subject. Asked if she goes to school, she said yes. But she had to work on that particular day, she explained, as the family direly needed money. This scenario is played out every day all over the country.