Sunday, March 01, 2009

College Education = Middle Class

College education is under question nowadays. Some people bashed it as worthless while others claimed it is a waste of time and money. The thousands who graduate yearly from colleges and universities will find it difficult to land a job in today’s recessionary times. The more than 35,000 nursing students who passed the board exam recently can not be entirely absorbed by all hospitals in the country. The law of supply and demand will surely come into play and it will result to lower salary of nurses. This reality further fuelled the fire that college education will likely not give the parents the return of investment they dreamed since their child was born.
The diploma-mill-school aggravates the situation by producing graduates who do not possessed even basic written English skills.
Why I am then proposing that the Filipino youth should pursue their college education?. BECAUSE THERE IS NO OTHER WAY to earn a regular salary, have a formal employment and crawled to middle class but to earn a college education.
There are people who sarcastically point to us that they can earn money without completing their college. Their ultimate hero is Bill Gates who dropped out of Harvard in his 2nd year, created Microsoft and never looked back.
I always loved to point to them that they are not Bill Gates who has parents earning lots of dollars, who studied in the best and expensive private elementary and high school, who has a country that passionately reward creativity and out-of-the-box thinking and a business environment where venture capitalists abound.
The challenge is clear for Filipinos that the Philippine environment is chaotic, bureaucratic and dwells on penalty rather than rewards.
But college education can change the landscape. It can make Filipinos open-minded, challenges traditional mores, invests more, entrepreneurship focused, back democratic process and support politicians with right economic policies.
The problem is when Filipinos college graduate do not possess the above characteristics. This will validate the claim that colleges and universities failed on their sworn duty. This failure will result to a life of hand-to-mouth existence even though a college diploma hangs in the wall.
Those who love the Philippines I am sure will not allow our country to slide in the level of North Korea or Zimbabwe.
We can do it by acting as one race and with one aspiration: the creation of a middle class with characters shaped by a solid college education.

Arnel L. Cadeliña

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