PGMA administration cites importance of education in reducing poverty

July 27, 2009 9:56 am 

MANILA, July 27 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo underscored today the importance of education in reducing poverty and attaining the country’s development goals even as she cited her administration’s top investment in education, skills development and training.

“Education is the great equalizer that allows every young Filipino a chance to realize their dreams,” President Arroyo said in her last State-of-the-Nation-Address during the Third Joint Regular Session of the 14th Congress at the Batasang Pambansa.

The Chief Executive stressed that her administration has built 95,000 classrooms throughout the country and created 60,000 teacher items from 2001 to 2008.

“We allocated Php1.5 billion for teacher training, especially for 107,000 English teachers,” she added.

The President affirmed that one of the most difficult Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target is the “Education for All,” or universal primary education by 2015.

Although most countries will not be able to achieve it, the President said, her administration is trying its best to improve its own education system.

She said her administration have cut the cost of going to school by building more classrooms in 1,000 barangays, stopping the collection of miscellaneous fees for primary school, and declaring school uniforms optional.

She added that 47 percent of students in private high schools have likewise been provided government assistance including the funding for technical education and skills training which is three times larger than the budget allocated to such training by previous administrations.

At the same time, the President noted that her government has also provided 600,000 college and post-graduate scholarships.

In this connection, she recognized and introduced one of the beneficiaries of the program, Mylene Amerol-Macumbal, the first Muslim woman bar top notcher who finished accounting in MSU-IIT, went to law school and placed second in the last bar exams.

The President mentioned the accomplishments of the Presidential Task Force on Education headed by Jesuit educator Father Bienvenido Nebres that came out with the Philippine Main Education Highway Towards Knowledge-based Economy.

“Our educational system should make the Filipino fit not just for whatever jobs that happen to be on offer today, but also for whatever economic challenge life will throw them,” she said. (PNA)

DCT/OPS/ssc

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