Thursday, February 04, 2010

Letter to the Next Philippine President

Educational Leadership: Must for the Next President
By: Arnel L. Cadeliña

To the Presidential Candidates:

Presidential elections are here again to test our ability to discern who among you deserve Malacañang. Your usual techniques of giving us promises relentlessly by infomercials, radio and print advertisements are now beginning to clog our brains. Again you are telling us that you are somewhat a messiah that will deliver us in our present ailments and predicaments. Food in every table, jobs in every family and health for all. Promises we heard from your predecessors since our republic was born after World War 2.

I don’t need to tell you that the past governments failed us repeatedly. Just look around you and decide.

For your millions of OFW countrymen toiling around the world, do you feel their agony of being away from their family?. Did anybody from your inner circle told you that every night as they lay down their aching back, your OFW feel that nobody cares for them?. Have you realized that the present administration, instead of trumpeting the creation of local jobs, happily announces their success of sending million OFWs?. Did you listen to their aching hearts and wounded relationships trying to be remedied by texts or long distance phone calls?. Even in their slumber have you thought that they are visited by whispers that no jobs await them when they return?.
What then you should do so that this May election will be different from the past?
Have a education agenda and be an education leader.

You are not deaf when your peers from other countries belittled our education system. Their perceptions that the middle, upper-middle class and the rich goes to rich-elite private universities while the 90% poor are either out-of-school or schooled by colleges or universities classified by foreigners as “glorified high school”. Is this reality angered you and make you determined to reform the system from day one of your office?

Have you realized from being in the top of the pyramid that the result of this imbalance is a classic phenomenon of overproduction in the absence of job production?. You don’t need to hire a prophet to predict that a social volcano is brewing to explode when million-army of educated unemployed start to be restless.

We will vote for you if you act decisively on the following education-related issues:
1. Requiring Deped , CHED and TESDA policy makers to have a coordinated
efforts to create challenging, clear content standards to guide classroom
instructions and learning. These standards can be assessed and measured by
scrutinizing classroom instruction.
2. Once a standard is set the government should develop a five-year plan to
support the research and development plan of having a national assessment.
3. Provide more funds for health care of low-income students by giving
subsidized meal programs.
4. Provide more funds to increase the budget for education.
5. Work for the increase of the salary of public and private school teachers.
Help them to have lesser income tax in order to augment their take-home pay.
6. Provide more scholarships in the masters and doctoral programs on science
and engineering.
7. Focus on the creation of jobs. Specifically jobs that will match the skills
of the graduates.

These are only seven issues and I believed there are more that can be suggested. The most important thing is that we need you to transform the education system of our country.

It is a long and difficult road but it is much cheaper than quelling armed revolution.

Again you should convince us first that the education issues, such as indicated above, will be addressed decisively. Once you decided that you will be one of us in this goal you will have my vote and once you are in Malacañang we will not waiver in watching your educational agenda. If you forgot about us and you begin to drown in the cup of power, we will march to your gate to remind you. Come hell or high water.

(Mr. Arnel L. Cadeliña resides in Lucena City. An MBA graduate of Ateneo and currently work as GSU Director of Sacred Heart College. Comments are welcome please e-mail

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