New school year, same old problems | Inquirer Opinion

New school year, same old problems

/ 01:27 AM June 20, 2014

Some 26 million pupils and students trooped to the schools last June 2. And once again, as in the past 50 years, these young boys and girls were met with the same problems and difficulties that started in the latter part of the 1960s.

Again, foremost among these woes that have been besetting the educational system is the lack of classrooms. This perennial problem has been so serious and huge that President Aquino, a few months after he assumed office and subsequently named Br. Armin Luistro secretary of the Department of Education, promised to fast-track the construction of schools to accommodate the burgeoning school population that has confronted the school system through the years.

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It will be recalled, too, that the President instructed Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, whom the chief executive described as one of the top performing members of his Cabinet, to coordinate and work closely with the DepEd and other government agencies concerned to hasten the implementation of the school building program.

Now, we are back to the same old problems. Aside from inadequate classrooms, the school system also suffers from the lack of teachers, desks/chairs, books, instructional support materials (formerly called teaching aids and devices) and classroom equipment and supplies. Consider, too, that the DepEd has embarked on a massive, nationwide and ambitious innovation, the K-to-12 curriculum which entails additional huge funding and requirements.

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So, once again, we will see overcrowded classrooms, especially in densely populated areas such as Commonwealth and Payatas in Quezon City, with pupils/students direly in need of things necessary and essential for the effective transfer of learning. (And to think that these areas are very near the House of Representatives where the so-called “money bills” emanate)!

Compounding the situation are the calamities which include—but are not limited to—supertyphoons, earthquakes, floods and fires that regularly hit the country; the number of gargantuan fund anomalies that siphons public money off from needed programs and projects to the pockets of corrupt and greedy public “servants”; and last, but certainly not the least, the just and reasonable clamor of the public school teachers for decent and humane salaries.

With these things we see at the opening of a new school year, it is apparent that at the education front we never learn. And to think that the primary aim of education is learning!

So, what else is new?

—EUSEBIO S. SAN DIEGO,

founder, Kaguro

and former president,

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Quezon City PSTA,

[email protected]

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TAGS: Armin Luistro, Department of Education, education, Education System, Rogelio singson
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