EDITORIAL | Back to school

As a nation that professes in its Constitution to give top priority to education, the Philippines sure finds it difficult showing it.

We seem to be stuck at the level of lip service, perpetually spitting out inspiring words to our learners and educators, but failing in terms of action in realizing the dream of an educated, functionally-literate, critical and creative youth.

This becomes all too apparent during the start of the school year.

After a few months of putting the problems out of our minds, they come crawling back, worse than ever, unwilling to make compromises.

Year after year, we are greeted by a lack of learning materials, educational facilities that are insufficient and often in deplorable condition, and educators who fail to display mastery of the subject they are handling. Meantime, we make do with meager resources, and often have to rely not on the government but on our own pockets, if we truly want a decent education.

Education stakeholders have proposed many reforms to combat these issues: scholarship programs, amending the system of budgeting for education, and encouraging more assistance by the private sector, among others. Yet, the issues seem to be too gargantuan to be addressed by what are essentially band-aid solutions.

We cannot simply keep patching up the system with solutions that are unsustainable and not backed by data science.

Perhaps, it is not only our youth who needs to be educated, but also our entire nation. Perhaps all of us needs a little schooling from books, from community leaders, from education experts on how to solve our nation’s learning woes.