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More than teachers and classrooms

12:04 AM June 30, 2014

With this year’s school year opening, the public was bombarded with images of school courtyards and classrooms crammed with large numbers of students, belying what we have been told, endlessly, that there are sufficient classrooms to accommodate our growing student population.

Meanwhile, the number of teachers continues to be in short supply and the newly hired ones are not commensurately compensated. And despite having entered the age of high-tech, still very fortunate are those enrolled in schools with functioning computers. For our government, education is supposed to be a priority as mandated by the Constitution, but our leaders can’t seem to address just two of the perennial problems plaguing our education system: the lack of classrooms and teachers.

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True education is not just about classrooms and teachers. And let us be reminded that we parents bear the ultimate responsibility for the education of our children. So, beyond the financial burden of tuition fees and daily allowances, what might some of these basic, day-to-day obligations of parents be? Do we ensure that our children have at least a conducive atmosphere for study at home? Do we sacrifice viewing time to allow quiet time for study for our children? Do we make time to help our children do their school assignments and discuss our children’s progress in school with their teachers? It is only in performing these seemingly taken-for-granted “school” obligations of parents that our children can find a realistic chance at developing their innate talents and skills.

Make no mistake: Parents do sacrifice and will go to great lengths to ensure their children’s success and a better future. This is a trait of the Filipino family.

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We should all continue to hope for government to take more efforts to be able to build better school facilities for our youth. The classroom is our children’s second home, and good teachers are always an inspiration. But they cannot take the primary role the home and we parents play in the molding of our children into the good and upright citizens that we want them to be.

—MARIANO S. JAVIER,

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