Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Got Milk?

Filipino children are receiving substandard education. We will be reaping an underprepared, non-competitive generation if we don't do anything drastic now.

Major problem has always been money. Even if Education gets the second biggest share of the budget (after debt service which pays off the obscene interest rates incurred on our national credit card bill) there is great difficulty in recruiting caring and competent teachers because an entire horde of school principals and teachers had long ago left for other countries to work as domestic helpers. Our classrooms are crowded and hot, absolutely not conducive for learning and these rooms need to be vacated hastily as they need to be used by succeeding classes late into the evening.

A teacher faces a classroom filled with bright but hungry children. The rate of absenteeism is high because malnourished kids are immunosuppressed. I propose diverting a portion of the education budget towards government-subsidized dairies. Say what? Making milk nationally available will prevent a lot of acquired infectious diseases, make children more alert and will significantly improve our performance in competitive sports. The learning curve is directly proportional to national nutrition and health.

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