Books not Bullets


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The first month of the school year has just ended and I wonder how many students have made it this far. I know that it’s very early to ask this question but it begs to be asked. I wonder, how many will make it to receive their diplomas or report cards come March of next year. It’s true, our education system is appalling and downright heartbreaking. To think that many years ago, our Asian neighbors once sent their students here in the Philippines, in our universities to study, now it’s a completely different story.

The ordinary Filipino family values education more than any other needs or necessities. Parents are struggling hard just to send their children to school, they risk life and limb and will not rest until they see their children march on stage to recieve their degrees and diplomas. It’s the only gift they could leave behind for their children before their time comes.

Education is clearly among the primary needs and interests of the Filipino people. Our government if it is truly to call itself a government for the people should do everything it can to serve this interests of the people. This is the very reason why governments are put up in the first place.

A test and indication of the goverment’s will and commitment to fulfill its mandate and purpose is the budget. From it, one could spell out the prevailing national policy the government has set out to implement. I remember reading a book in which, if I’m not mistaken, Ka Pepe Diokno once expressed that the national and foreign policies should reflect the needs and interests of the people, and that the needs and interests of the people should be the basis of both the national and foreign policies.

Looking at the budget once more, one in the right mind would be perplexed and bewildered even. The huge and often speedy allocation of government funds to the military compared to the decreasing and snail-paced release of funds for education and other social services is something that is mind boggling and a cause for great concern if not outrage. It’s not a purely case of politics, rather a reexamination of the values the government upholds.

It’s really ridiculous. The military gets an additional P1 billion in funds to spread chaos in the name of rooting out the communist insurgency at the snap of GMA’s finger while the acting Secretary of the Dept of Education gets a mouthful from the President when the issue about the underfunded state of our education is brought up to the table. View this with the 70-plus students crammed inside a classroom with a leaking roof, busted electric fans, an unusable toilet, and moldy outdated textbooks in the background and I don’t know what will not make you burst out in rage and cry that the men in the Palace are all mad, and worse they are being led by a woman that is the embodiment of madness and self-perpetuating perversity.

What’s even worse is that it seems they are all taking their cues from another monster, a bonehead running the top office of the nation the other side of the Pacific, who’s hunger for power in the form of black gold heeds no boundaries, and is more than willing to spill blood just to have it.

The timely release of the $200 Million loan from the World Bank to ‘help’ our education system is tell-tale sign of this foreign perversion of our national policies and a betrayal of our people.

Bullets not books. Death not life perpetuated by education. This it seems are the principles guiding our nation’s leaders. If we the people are to take this lying down, God have mercy on our nation, our children, and their children.

jhay (C) Some rights reserved


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