EDITORIAL: Where is our graduates’ bright future?

Graduation cap
This March, thousands of Bicolano students will once again graduate, all smiles and wide-eyed at the prospect of a bright future.

Except, the future may not be smiling back.

Yesterday, the Philippine Statistics Authority announced that unemployment in the country has slumped to 7.5%. Meanwhile, underemployment, or the situation where a worker lands a job that is mismatched to his or her capabilities, is still at 19.2%.

The PSA blames these disheartening figures on the devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda and the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the Visayas.

Still, even before these disasters struck, the ills of unemployment and underemployment have been besieging the country, forcing some to take on jobs with less than humane conditions, or to seek employment elsewhere.

The problem is not new to Bicolano graduates. Year after year, a considerable number of them attempt to remedy the situation by going to Manila, a place that is believed to be a job Mecca. Many, however, come home disappointed, finding that the job in the capital is not suited to their training, or worse, there are no jobs available for them in the first place.

Where are the jobs that are supposed to be waiting for our graduates? Where is the promise of a bright future, the proverbial pot of gold at the end of years of academic toil?

As the nation continues to boast of its so-called achievements in education, it must also check whether the opportunities with which they entice students to strive for are truly there. The youth, they must remember, is quick to hope and easy to deceive. But, they are also hard to stave off once they discover that the bright future that they have been pining for, is but a cruel joke.