Education: for enlightenment or Employment?

Posted: January 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

Education in the Philippines is prevalently seen as an economic necessity. With the constant struggle to battle poverty, it is believed that educational attainment elevates one’s economical status. Such is the notion of the society that it is an “obligation” for every parent to send their children to school. Financial status and stability seems to be the driving force of the majority to attain education.

Majority of the population in the Philippines consist of marginalized individuals. Besides basic necessities, education is the top priority among the poor. Despite financial struggles, parents send their children to school to secure a better future for them. With this regard, parents would always remind their children to take education seriously so they won’t have to endure the hardship of poverty. Consequently, this scenario has developed a kind of coping mechanism in the system of every poor family towards their struggle in attaining education. The eldest among the siblings or any of the siblings who has finished his education first carries the burden or responsibility for the education of the rest. He is expected to look for a job to sustain the education of his siblings.

On a larger scale, the hierarchy of priority seems to play an important role in one’s view about education. In the Philippines where everyone’s priority is to feed hungry mouths, people seek a kind of education that would equip them to have jobs that pay a high salary. This is the reason why there is a tremendous number of students taking up nursing courses or any course that is highly in-demand. Care-giving courses are offered here and there all over the country. Year in year out, a large number of people desire to work abroad as nurses or caregivers. Sometimes, taking-up an education degree is not out of passion for teaching but for the purpose of teaching abroad in hopes of a high salary.

It is also for this reason that individuals do not pursue the kind of education that cultivates their innate talents and skills. Skills like writing or anything related to arts are often neglected and are not pursued because of socio-economic issues. Usually, such skills are considered as mere “hobbies”. As far as financial stability is concerned, only a very few people pursue their skills and talents to be their profession. As a result, courses such as journalism, fine arts, and photography are underappreciated, and worst disparaged. Consequently, establishments for educational purposes seem to be relatively lacking. There are no enough libraries and museums in our country.

The country seems to be concerned only with “employment”. It seems that education here in the Philippines is a tool in preparation for jobs like call centers, tutorials, and care-giving. People end up in such jobs because, sometimes, they are not given a choice. They do not have the luxury to be what they want to be. People are motivated by money, and that’s where their education is leading them.


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