Free College education to peace and Prosperity PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 March 2017 11:37

SQUARE POINT

BY Jack Edward Enriquez

Naturally the parents were so happy that day. They were over whelmed with the sense of fulfillment seeing their youngest son marching up the stage to receive the diploma, a proof that he has graduated in the city’s public high school. But their joy slowly faded out as they have to face a tough responsibility ahead for their own son is determined to go to college and become a teacher someday. It was the young boy’s dream to pursue his studies and find job to uplift the way of living of their family.

The father is a band saw operator. Unfortunately the woodcraft business has recently declined due to the non-availability of timber logs or the strict regulation on the cutting of forest trees. Most band saw operators have stopped their trade while others turned to old fruit trees and other species grown in urban areas like the acacia, fire tree, talisay including mangrove trees.

As a last resort the parents tried to avail of the scholarship sponsored by the city government, but their hope glimmered off because the scholarship is only limited to valedictorian and salutatorian graduates. The despondent boy was compelled to accept the job in a bakery as a mere helper hoping to save some money for him to push through his way in college in the near future and realize his dreams. But how many high school graduates are there suffering the same fate? Perhaps, millions of all them over the country. Instead of finishing a course in college, they are prematurely employed as ordinary labors tasked to do manual jobs. Dreams and ambition have been shatters because of financial difficulties and the impractical way of selecting qualified applicants for the government scholarship. Nonetheless many poor students remained clinging to their dreams and aspiration despite of the disappointment and frustration to pursue their studies.

Fortuitously some members of Congress have conceptualized brilliant ideas in an effort to solve the perennial problem faced by indigent parents in providing their siblings with the much needed education for them to have a brighter tomorrow. The senators scrutinized and analyzed the circumstances surrounding the predicament and found out that it’s not enough to just put every Filipino child in school, but see to it that each of them can finish a course in college. And that is to guarantee free college education to every high school graduate most particularly those coming from indigent families.

An initial amount of 7.3 billion pesos was entrusted to the Commission on Higher Education to defray the tuition fees of students in more or less 114 state colleges and universities this School year 2017-2018. CHED Chair Patricia Licuanan stressed that said amount is intended only for tuition fees of about 1.4 million students currently enrolled. If we really want to ensure that students from the poorest of the poor sector be able to finish college, then it is absolutely necessary to increase this allocation considering other expenses in schools, like the miscellaneous, contributions supplies and needs, transportation, meals including dormitories, Licuanan emphasized. It means that the budget allocation for education should be immensely increased.

Well-educated be people enjoy a stable way of living that bring about a law abiding cand tranquil community where the poverty line seems to be negligible. It means lesser problems and headaches to the government. It has been written by famous philosophers that education is an investment towards peace and prosperity as a people as a nation.