Mar Roxas on Education

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 | posted in , , , |

The Problem

Our Education system is broken: Filipino students are being left behind, compared to their counterparts in Asia and the world.

Increasing number of children deprived of Education: The National Statistical Coordination Board had reported that more children do not have access to primary education now than five years ago-16.8% in 2007 compared to 9.7% in 2003-due to the rising cost of living and prices of basic needs. The International Finance Corp. also recently reported that the country's business competitiveness ranking slid down to 133rd, from 130th.

High drop-out rates: It can be noted that most kids drop out from school young: 22% of children who enter Grade 1 will have dropped out by Grade 3. Studies show a strong correlation between poor nutrition and high dropout rates. Furthermore, of all Grade 6 students, only 26%, 15% and 31% of students gain the required mastery of English, Science and Math, respectively.

Educational plans are failing: Filipino families have suffered in the hands of irresponsible pre-need companies. Hard-earned money, shelled out by hardworking parents month after month, to secure the dream of quality education for their children, has gone down the drain.

Mar Roxas' Action

Omnibus Education Reform: Roxas has filed Senate Bill 2294 entitled Omnibus Education Reform Act of 2008 that would fix the problems in our broken educational system.

Mother tongue as medium of instruction: In the said proposed measure, Roxas wants the use of the Philippine language as a medium of instruction for Grades 1 to 3, saying studies have shown early education in the native language is more effective.

Expanded 12-year Basic Education program: In Roxas' bill, although unpopular for the students, mandates the increase from 10 to 12 the number of years in the basic education in consonance with international standards in order to make our own world-class educational system. It would also include competency evaluation at grades three and six, a remedial year between grade school and high school, and an “output-oriented” high school curriculum that would equip graduates with the right skills, whether they choose to pursue college or already be employed.

Institutionalization of a long-term planning process for Education: The Roxas' plan would be rolling five-year budget plans that are consistent with quantitative and qualitative targets for education.

Intensive training and upgrading programs for teachers: Roxas wants to help teachers arm their students with the right competencies and knowledge by giving training programs on teaching methods using the mother language for teachers in Grades 1 to 3, and upgrading courses for English, Science and Math teachers who are not majors in these subjects.

Establish a Pre-Need Code: Roxas already filed in the Senate the Pre-Need Code since 2008. This will hold pre-need companies to stricter standards to safeguard the rights of Filipino families, such as concrete measures to protect plan holders; detailed provisions on the securities a pre-need company can invest in; and the percentage of the premiums that should go into the trust fund.

It also prescribes qualifications for those who manage the trust fund; and establishes an agency to regulate pre-need companies based on prudential principles based on soundness, stability, and sustainable growth.

Mar Roxas' Record

Record of Advocacy: Roxas, then a Congressman from Capiz, has been the author of Republic Act 7880 ("Fair and Equitable Access to Education Act") also known as the Roxas Law. The law ensures fair distribution of the education capital budget among all the provinces. This started his advocacy for fair and equitable access to education, free from regional bias and political patronage considerations. Now, as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, he will continue to push for education reform to improve our broken educational system.

He also authored the ‘PCs for Public Schools Project’ to provide student and teachers IT access. To date, the program has distributed 30,000 computers to over 2,000 public high schools nationwide, opening doors on hands-on computer training to 500,000 students yearly and reducing the computer backlog in public high schools by more than half, from 69 percent to 31 percent.

Roxas has also been working for all the parents out there who work long and hard to provide their children a life much better than what they had by putting their trust on the pre-need companies. He has been pushing for the Pre-Need Code in the Senate so that their sacrifice would not go to waste.

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About The Blogger
Kevin Ray N. Chua

Kevin Ray N. Chua is a 19 year-old blogger from Cebu City, Philippines and an IT Student at Cebu Institute of Technology.

He is currently the Secretary General of the CIT-SSG.

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