LIFT­ING OF BUR­DENS

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! HEALTH! -

LAILA M. GOMEZ

An­other school year is about to come to an end. For a span of 10 months, stu­dents trudge on to at­tend classes, com­plete re­quire­ments and projects, ace quizzes and ex­am­i­na­tions, and even throw in some ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties. With ev­ery day of school comes also cor­re­spond­ing ex­penses in or­der for stu­dents to sur­vive and thrive. For an av­er­age stu­dent to com­plete sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion, that would mean 6 years of 10 months of 5 days a week of school­ing. Aside from school fees, par­ents have to set aside money for the daily needs of their stu­dent child. That ex­pense in­cludes, food, trans­porta­tion fare, and needed school ma­te­ri­als. Sum­ming ev­ery­thing up, de­pend­ing on the num­ber of chil­dren in a fam­ily and the school they are at­tend­ing, could amount to a stag­ger­ing bur­den upon the fam­ily.

From en­roll­ment to grad­u­a­tion, par­ents scram­bled to fill in the fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties they have for their chil­dren. And with our cul­ture, in­stead of the fi­nal re­lease from the bur­den upon grad­u­a­tion of their child, it seemed that it would be one of the great­est ob­sta­cles they have to face. From meet­ing all re­quire­ments for grad­u­a­tion, which would mean, nec­es­sary projects and pa­pers, in­clud­ing re­search that needs daily fund­ing to com­plete, up to the fi­nal prepa­ra­tion for grad­u­a­tion - grad­u­a­tion fees, grad­u­a­tion pic­to­ri­als, and grad­u­a­tion ban­quet, the fam­ily has to spend a big­ger amount than they usu­ally do for the grad­u­a­tion.

That stag­ger­ing bur­den of ed­u­ca­tion has long been the con­cern of the gov­ern­ment. With its goal of free ed­u­ca­tion for all, the gov­ern­ment has been im­ple­ment­ing for al­most 10 years now, the “no collection pol­icy”. With the said pol­icy, par­ents no longer have to save up for the en­roll­ment fees of their child in the pub­lic school. Their lim­ited re­sources are bet­ter al­lo­cated for the other needs of their chil­dren. Even col­lec­tions on var­i­ous projects or or­ga­ni­za­tion of the school had been kept to the min­i­mum. This also helped re­move any pos­si­ble ob­sta­cles that could cause a stu­dent to miss class or even­tu­ally drop out. The pol­icy as­sisted the par­ents in ful­fill­ing their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as par­ents in pro­vid­ing ed­u­ca­tion for their chil­dren, no mat­ter what fi­nan­cial sta­tus they may be in.

Though it is true that it does solve all fi­nan­cial bur­dens of the fam­ily, but some­how it gives a balanc­ing ef­fect for the chil­dren of those in lower fi­nan­cial sta­tus to have the same chance of ed­u­ca­tion as oth­ers. With the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pol­icy, events’ cost and ex­trav­a­gance is kept at min­i­mum. Or­ga­niz­ers and par­tic­i­pants of school events learned to max­i­mize re­sources and to ap­pre­ci­ate sim­plic­ity. This also helped elim­i­nate so­cial bi­ases and bor­ders and cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment of equal­ity and equity in the school.

--oOo—

The au­thor is Teacher III at Pam­panga High School

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