I wonder what GMA meant when she said she wanted to replicate the kariton classrooms initiated by Efren Peñaflorida. I mean, does she not recognize that the reason why these kind of classrooms existed in the first place was because of the inability of the government to provide adequate educational facilities for its constituents? Does she not recognize that if only the government provided adequate resources for education for the children living in slum areas then there would be no need for kariton classrooms?
The news came out on November 27 and it was only now that I have heard of it from the tweet of a friend. I am aghast and my sensibilities are again offended. I mean what was she thinking and what kind of mentality does she have? Should she not be ashamed of herself and her administration that such a basic service like education cannot be provided to those who need it? Is she not ashamed that the Philippines is coming out as such a poor country – very poor indeed – wherein the government can afford to fortify its armed defenses (or is it offenses) yet not improve its educational facilities?
I believe the funds that would be allocated for these kariton classrooms would help build more sturdy and real classrooms. I think if only the budget could be reviewed and government officials be less greedy (I do not ask for zero greediness, that being an impossibility, but just lessen the greediness) then I believe that there would be no need for make shift classrooms and instead we could have concrete ones.
I applaud the heroism of Efren. I admire the guy. But I think, even he, would want to see more concrete classrooms than more kariton ones. After all, shouldn’t better educational facilities promise better education? Or perhaps more motivation for the students and teachers alike? (Then again maybe not because I know of educational institutions who have the best facilities yet mediocre educational quality.) But still, many slum kids would benefit from concrete classrooms.
The point is, what our country, and the slums in it, needs are real and concrete classrooms not kariton ones. What we need are better educational facilities and systems. Efren’s efforts should be a wake-up call to the government, not a prototype of what they should do. NGO’s exist to augment what the government lacks. The government should not follow what the NGO’s are doing yet they should know what it is that they lack that the NGO’s are filling in. Then they should address that lack with concrete actions – better ones than what the NGO’s can provide.