Have you ever noticed the way Filipinos think about education? I surely do: The Philippine society implies that a Bachelor’s Degree is equal to a steady life. And, by steady life, I mean a stable job, financial income, security, all those things that makes an adult… well, an adult. I am very confused as to why people outside the Philippines do not think that way and education is a privilege that a person enjoys. Of course, I am aware of a lot of Filipinos thinking contrary to what society implies but, of course, society wins in this country and change is something it is not ready to embrace.
Filipinos are naturally smart. Filipinos are naturally hard-working and very motivated. We were a normal society until history fucked everything up and did irreparable damage(s). The Spanish colonization brought us laziness and meekness. We were also taught to obey what the “superior race” tells us to do. And we endured that for three centuries until someone wanted to question the authority of the Spanish. During this time, schools from primary to tertiary levels were established by religious orders and the dominating school that administers the education (an equivalent of the present-day Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education) was the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas (UST), a Dominican university. UST, up until the 1890s, controlled the admission of students entering the educational institutions by not allowing the natives (“Indios”) to enroll. The privilege of education was only given to the children with Spanish blood (“Filipinos”). What did these Indios do? They served their masters. Slaves to their own ancestral land. Tilling their own crops but did not benefit anything. Thanks to a few Filipinos, change was about to occur… but, due to stupidity, and political adversary, the change was temporary. Come the American occupation (1899 – 1920s) education was made “free for all”. The establishment of non-sectarian schools like the prestigious University of The Philippines and its equivalent, the Polytechnic University of The Philippines, paved way for more Filipinos (now a unified term for people living in the Philippine Islands) to have access to education. But, that, too, became a problem. Through the years, only the privileged have access to education. If you have no money, you can’t study. Unless, of course, you go to a seminary. That’s another story.
Money is still an issue when it comes to education. You’ll hear and see it in every way possible: budget cuts for the state-run schools, tuition fee increase, salary cuts on educators, few classrooms, inadequate school supplies, cheap school supplies, and reconstructing the basic educational system.
But, underneath it all, the education system is one big money bank. An investment of the parties involved for the children of tomorrow to finish their studies and become the hope that the country needs. Now, I figured that that frame of thought is, quite frankly, antiquarian, if not very monumental. We have to be more critical about how we think about education. Is money worth everything for education to be called “worth it”? The real investment in education should come from both the student and the educator without the confines of the classroom, where the fine line between “learning” and “enjoying” is blurred. Parents should not think that school is a prerequisite to getting everything “good” in life. Parents should not expect more from their children. They should be able to think in a different way than you do.
The problem is our society. Society teaches us to be robots. To not feel anything. To bend to our corporate masters without questioning them. To start from scratch after attaining the education you received, therefore rendering you in a static state. You are a robot. You cannot feel anything. You are a slave to what society dictates.
I am studying in school because of this reason. I am a slave of the society. I refuse to ask. I refuse to use what my mental faculties tell me to do. I am a corporate workhorse that needs lubrication. I am soulless. I am a robot.