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A World with Extreme Poverty is a World of Insecurity.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

High Birth rate = Lack of Classrooms

Last March 25, 2007 (Sunday), an article by Michael Lim Ubac was published in Inquirer. This article is short but very relevant that it had to be blogged... =) Read on...

High birth rate = classroom lack’
By Michael Lim Ubac, Inquirer
Last updated 02:41am (Mla time) 03/25/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- As long as population growth is not reined in, government will never be able to wipe out classroom backlogs, according to Education Secretary Jesli Lapus. At the roundtable discussion with President Macapagal-Arroyo on the issues of hunger and poverty on Thursday, the education chief pointed to the relevance of population management in solving the perennial classroom shortage.

“Every minute, four babies are born. In my limited point of view on this classroom shortage, it’s like every 10 minutes, I’m short one classroom,” said Lapus. The projected population growth for 2007 is 8.7 million based on an annual growth rate of 2 percent. This places the current Philippine population at 88.7 million.
President Arroyo, however, has frowned on proposals to intensify birth control measures in the face of stiff opposition from the Catholic Church. She then shifted the discussion to her administration’s increased budget for education. She said the government had money to build 14,000 classrooms this year. She also talked about “ladderized education” in which high school students are encouraged to take up vocational courses instead of going on to college. “We all know that even if a child is not that bright, among the great Filipino dream(s) of parents is (for their children) to have a college education,” she said.

The President said blue-collar jobs like welding and butchering animals were not only in-demand but were also high-paying jobs abroad. “We really need more technical people than management people. College is usually for management people,” Ms Arroyo said. Lapus stressed that as the National Career Assessment Examination taken last month showed, more than half of the 1.3 million senior high school students in both the public and private schools did not qualify for a college education.

“There’s really a mismatch,” said Lapus, because most Filipinos want a college diploma. “So we have 1.1 million college graduates who are jobless, but we have 650,000 jobs unfilled.”