Tuesday, June 06, 2006

GOVERNMENT NEGLECT OF EDUCATION: EXACERBATED BY THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION

CODAL is dismayed at the government’s neglect of the educational system manifested by artificially solving the lack of classrooms through Pres. Gloria Arroyo’s mathematical hocus-pocus. Even without the DepED’s “incorrect” data, the lack of classrooms is apparent by the overcrowding of 60-80 students in one room, and the holding of classes in playgrounds and under the shade of trees. Doubling the shifts of students will not eliminate this dearth in classrooms, considering that other than the actual lack of classrooms, we also have a lack of teachers to teach in these shifts.

Charter Change Eliminates Government Responsibility in Education

The proposed charter change will further exacerbate the current situation as it eliminates government responsibility in education and virtually opens up universities and colleges to foreign ownership thereby distorting the entire educational system to further cater to the requirements of globalization.

The proposed Constitution of the Constitutional Commission (CONCOM) deletes the following provisions in Article II of the 1987 Constitution:

(i) Sec. 13 “ The State recognizes the vital role of the Youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being.”

(ii) Sec. 17. The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.

(iii) Sec. 9. The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all.



These deletions will take away the constitutional provisions that may be used in forcing government to ensure its support for education and the welfare of the youth. It also eliminates a provision that will ensure continued government responsibility in providing for adequate social services to the people.

The Concom proposal also opened up colleges and universities to foreign ownership by inserting the qualifying phrase “at the pre-school, elementary and high school levels” in Article XVI, Sec 3 (2):


(2) Educational institutions at the pre-school, elementary and high school levels, other than those already established by religious groups and mission boards, shall be owned solely by citizens of the Philippines, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens. Parliament may, however, require increased Filipino equity participation in all educational institutions.

If transnational corporations will own our universities and colleges, profit becomes a primary concern while education and learning takes secondary importance. Not only will education become unaffordable, the curriculum will surely be geared to the needs of foreign markets rather than those of the Filipino people.

The proposal of Rep. Constantino Jaraulla, Speaker Jose de Venecia, Reps. Luis Villafuerte, Rep. Prospero Nograles and Miguel Zubiri in the House of Representatives is worse as it directly lifts citizenship requirements in education, inter alia, by proposing amendments to Art. XII, Sec. 12 on Economy and Patrimony”

SEC. 12. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 2 AND 11 HEREOF, CITIZENSHIP RESTRICTIONS ARE HEREBY LIFTED RELATIVE TO THE OWNERSHIP AND LEASE OF ALIEANABLE LANDS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN WHICH INCLUDE AGRICULTURAL, RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL AND RECLAIMED LANDS, DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, OWNERSHIP OF FRANCHISES AND OF PUBLIC UTILITIES, MASS MEDIA, EDUCATION, INSURANCE AND ADVERTISING, UNLESS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW. PARLIAMENT SHALL PROVIDE FOR LIMITED FOREIGN OWNERSHIP IN REGARD TO FRANCHISES GRANTED TO CORPORATIONS INVOLVING PUBLIC UTILITIES OF LARGE SCALE.

The educational system and the Filipino youth have been greatly neglected and marginalized under the current Constitution. The proposed constitutional revision will ensure that not only the worsening of the educational crisis, but that government and Pres. Arroyo are not even responsible for such a crisis.

CODAL reiterates its call on the youth and the academe to persist in battling the proposed charter change and thwart attempts to further marginalize the youth and education.

Reference Person : Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares--Spokesperson
Date : 6 June May 2006

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