Press Release
May 23, 2008


Senator Mar Roxas warned that Filipino children are not getting enough preparation needed to succeed in their future careers.

"Our students are being shortchanged. They are made to believe that the education they are getting now is enough to prepare them for the increasingly knowledge-based world, when it is not at all competitive. Lugi sila," he said.

The Liberal Party President stressed that education is a "building blocks system" that will fall apart if the basic foundations are not learned by the students in their early years: whatever gaps there are in elementary or high school could not anymore be bridged by college.

Unfortunately, he said Filipino students now do not get enough learning of even the basics, more so the needed training in analytical and specialized skills that required if they are to succeed in college and in the workplace.

"Of 100 students who start at grade 1, only 65 of them will complete grade 6. But even as they graduate, only a minority of them have grasped the basics--English, Science and Math," he said, noting that those who reach "mastery" levels in the said subjects are just 26%, 15% and 31%, respectively.

"It becomes worse in high school. Of the 65, only 43 of them finish high school. But among those who finish, only a dismal 7% have gained mastery in English, 2% in Science and 16% in Math," he said.

Roxas said that the students are not being introduced properly to the basic foundations at the early years, because they are not being taught in the "mother tongue," or the language that the use at home and in their communities. At present, only 26% of Filipino children have access to education in their mother tongue.

"Ayon sa mga pag-aaral, ang pagpilit ng paggamit sa classroom ng wikang banyaga sa mga estudyante ay lalo lamang nagiging balakid sa pag-aaral," he stressed. He cited the experience of

He cited the experience in Lubuan, Kalinga wherein teachers use the Kalinga language to teach students in Grades 1 to 3 to read and write and for teaching English and Filipino. Their test scores show better results than those in other districts where the medium of instruction used was English. They are also more participative in class, and their attendance and receptiveness have improved.

He added that students are not given enough time learning the basic foundations: only 10 years compared to the 12 years of basic education those in other countries receive. This, he said, is why the first two years of College are spent on "trying to fill the gaps in the early years."

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