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Access, quality education vital for RP

Posted on: July 2, 2009

2010 PRESIDENTIABLES SAY
Access, quality education vital for RP

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 04:34:00 07/02/2009

Filed Under: Inquirer Politics, Elections

MANILA, Philippines—If the Philippines is to prosper and compete globally, a holistic approach focusing on access and good governance in the local educational system is vital, four presidentiables said Wednesday.

In a forum held by the Movement for Good Governance, Senators Francis Escudero, Richard Gordon, Isabela Governor Grace Padaca and founder of Center for Alternative Deveploment Nicanor Perlas—four of the identified presidentiables to run in the 2010 elections–concurred that the next leaders of the country should instigate “reform in education.”

Escudero lamented that only 12 percent of the country’s national budget is allocated for education, while neighboring countries spent at least 20 percent.

“Whereas the government pays P630 billion for debts, only 12 percent of the government budget is spent for education, that is equal to P158 billion when it should stand at about P280 billion (if we should increase it to 20 percent). Access, quality and good governance are important for education reform,” added Escudero.

Gordon said that budget issue could be solved using “non-traditional means” and could help fix deficiency in classrooms, school supplies and teachers.

“If we could have 2 million text messages sent everyday at one peso and take at least 10 percent of the total profits to be allocated for education, we could have P73 billion a year that can be pumped into education so we can solve build classrooms and train teachers,” Gordon added.

Padaca agreed that a “holistic approach” is important to solve the current dilemma in education.

“The work for education reform is not only for the Department of Education (DepEd) but the whole government system—yung mga estudyante ba ay marong tirahan na panggagalingan at baon bago pumasok sa eskwela? We need teachers na nanalo sa ‘wrongking’ not ranking. If I talk to my constituents in Isabela, even with my ailment education gave me opportunity—pwedeng meron silang marating sa pamamagitan ng edukasyon,” said Padaca.

Padaca said the governor’s office, for instance, could allocate P5,000 a month, while the municipal office could add P2,000 a month as supplemental budget for teacher’s salary.

“Education should be a learning system for the learner. We have 11 intelligences, according to the multiple intelligence theory but ours focus on two only: linguistic and mathematical intelligences. We haven’t taken a look at education as a system for us but we need a critical, strategic, constructive and appreciative system,” said Perlas.

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