the molds are eating your textbooks for breakfast

what the fuck is wrong with this country?

“Some P329 million worth of textbooks, information and communication technology (ICT) products, computers and instructional materials are lying around in the offices of school officials or in stockrooms, destroyed by molds, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).” more here

again, what the fuck is wrong with this country? the books were “undistributed for reasons ranging from oversupply, deficiency in contents to scarcity of funds, and vehicles for delivery.” no sufficient vehicles for delivery? what? seven-year olds in very rural areas are walking a good five kilometers to reach school everyday and they couldn’t distribute the books because there was not enough vehicles to deliver it? haven’t they looked around enough to realize that metro manila roads are overcrowded with vehicles (and junk with wheels)?

as to the reason why the supposedly instructional computers are sitting pretty in the offices of supervisors and principals, the Department of Education argued that the computer supplier failed to train the teachers how to operate the computers and that in some cases, some CDs couldn’t be installed.

oh for the love of my sanity, how did we come about to this shit? how can we expect our graduates to be qualified enough to express themselves fluently and confidently when there are too many stupid people hanging around the Department of Education? where is common sense when you need it?

no vehicles to deliver the textbooks (or nobody cared enough to provide the textbook benefits to the poor kids who could have used it)? no sufficient computer training (why on earth was the ICT purchase for? for decoration?)? cds couldn’t be installed (haven’t they heard about the world wide web)?

i remember when i was a kid that we never had our own textbook in grade school. i shared mine with a classmate that was quite happy enough to let me bring the books home because he rarely opens them outside the classroom anyway. it was the same case with my parents and the same case with my younger siblings (we all went to a public grade school). it wouldn’t be so shocking to actually expect this will still be the same picture in the next twenty five years.

we knew, at even a young age, that corruption has something to do with us not having enough books. we just do not know then that was the official term for it. we realized a sad fact that the students in private schools get to have their own brand new books because they can afford it and that we cannot. we were told that we are even lucky to get to enjoy the ratio of 1:2 (1 book, 2 students) as it is even worse in other rural areas. we knew something was wrong about that principle but we didn’t know better then. we were kids, really. we look forward more to recess sessions and summer breaks and christmas vacations. school was something our parents forced on us.

i know better now.

it pisses me off that we are just wasting P329M just like that, when there was all the authority available to put it to good use. i do not know which is worse: this P329 worth of trash now or the P329 worth of cash pocketed by officials. but then, choosing the lesser evil does not really address the problem.

how did we arrive to this shit? quality education has become a luxury to people who can afford them. a co-manager in a former company once complained over lunch that he was paying more (about P75K/year) for sending his daughter to a prep school than for sending the other one to grade school (about P48K/year). P75K/year for sending a kid to a classroom where she would be singing nursery rhymes, run around the playground, build lego blocks, count numbers, and work on colouring books?

no, thanks. i turned out just fine, by the way.

but what about the average kids belonging to a family with average income? when i was in sixth grade, the last two sections rarely have classes. the teachers were only more interested in training the Class A section, put a little more effort on the Class B, and just let Classes C and D do what they want to do. Us belonging in Class A wondered and screamed “unfair!”; they get all the classbreaks they need, more than need, really. and we get to have all the examinations we would rather avoid.

looking back at it now, we were the luckier ones. that, of course, doesn’t make me feel better. they need more help than we do. i wonder where they are now.

i can only hope life did a better job at giving them lessons than the school did.


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