LIFTING OF BURDENS
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.
The author is Teacher III at Pampanga High School