I wrote this in March 2009 in my soon to be closed wordpress blog, and so I am copying it here in toto. My opinion then remains the same as now.
The literacy rate of the Philippines is more or less 94% since 1994 to the present time. We have one of the highest literacy rates among developing countries but what does that do for us? Does having “literate” citizens translate to progress for the country? I’m afraid not. Being literate does not remove ignorance…it does not make people less corrupt. I have always maintained that for us to progress we need better education. What do I mean? Better education does not mean a high literacy rate. So what, if you can read and write? Will that make you a good citizen? Better education means a wholistic education. While it is true that there is free elementary and high education in the country, there is also a very high drop-out rate by the time children reach grade 6 to 2nd year high school. These children can read and write English and Pilipino but it does not mean they can understand what they are reading. Basic comprehension is poor. On the other hand, children of middle-income and upper-class families finish their education and reach university and even post-graduate levels but becoming part of the educated elite does not guarantee a moral character. So in essence, the education I advocate is one that is geared to developing not only the intellect but the heart and conscience as well. For progress to happen, government must guarantee that all children finish their elementary and high education. Technical education should be incorporated in high school so that these children who could no longer afford a college education can continue to be trained in skills appropriate for them, in technical schools that government should provide for free. Moral Values, Ethics , Conscience and Basic Rights should be taught and lived beginning from elementary to college. Education and Moral Recovery is the only way to progress. The Department of Education and CHED should see this before its too late.