Note: This is my contribution to Blog Action Day for Education. This post is dedicated to my family and friends who still don't understand why I am doing such things. Nahirapan din ako sa pagbuo ng title kaya ipagpaumanhin kung parang alang konek sa laman. ;)
"Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave." - Lord Brougham
When I was in elementary, Sibika at Kultura was my favorite subject. It was our own version of Philippine History. Back then, I knew by heart all the dates of important historical events and the names of important figures in our history. I had been also quite aware of the current events happening in our country then. Because of this, politics piqued the interest of my young mind when I was in Grade 6 and after which, I had dreamed of becoming the next President of this country.
During those days, it was also the height of the jueteng allegations against then President Estrada. Soon, I was following the impeachment trial religiously through the AM radio. I was then fervently hoping that Erap would soon be ousted because I believe he was a 'bad president' - a jueteng lord, womanizer, gambling lord and a drunkard.
I had been very excited to be able to witness then a momentous event in history - EDSA 2. I wasn't there at EDSA. I was in front of the TV watching as the events unfold until Erap finally left Malacanang and Gloria Arroyo was sworned in as President.
Blame it on my innocent mind, I instantly became a Gloria supporter then. It went on as she got 'elected' as president in 2004. It is one of the biggest regrets I had because in our family, I was the only one defending her from criticisms. I keep on telling them that she cannot do things in an instant. Change the way things are going in our country.
How did it all end? It wasn't my family who convinced me to do so. It was her excellency herself who proved them right.
But that did not really moved me. I was still a bit apathetic. I would still rather be in a safe distance commenting on issues. Although I had been very vocal about my love for this country, I am still too naive about what's really happening. If you're going to look at my previous blog posts here way back in 2006, you can hardly see any trace of social concern. It was just purely superficial nationalism based on superficial values and superficial features that our country has.
But I'm glad that I had been able to overcome it despite eight years of being brainwashed by our educational system.
Yes. Our educational system had brainwashed me. And so are the millions of Filipino youth. They are training us to become slaves to commercial interests. They are molding us to become apathetic. They are making us hate history because instead of understanding why certain events happened in our history, students are forced to memorize dates and names which are highly insignificant in their lives. They are telling us lies to cover up the people who wronged us in the past.
That's why we shouldn't be surprised if most of the youth today are apathetic and mere spectators of the worsening crisis in our country. They prefer to comfortable sit in front of the TV, go bar hopping with friends or play Farmville in Facebook rather than express their angst on the hottest issues of the day, going room to room to explain the issues to their classmates or going out of the city to see how miserable are the lives of millions of Filipinos are in the countryside.
This could have not happened if we have only been taught right.
The current crisis of our country: social, economic and political, can be wholly blamed on our commercialized, corrupt and neoliberal education system.
It is because we have a government that prioritizes debt servicing over giving public schools its much needed subsidies.
It is because we have schools that has profits in mind above providing quality and affordable education.
It is because we have a curriculum that follows the dictates of multinational corporations.
It is because we are producing gifted children who are only good at showing off their extraordinary talents to others instead of using it to serve others.
It is because we are producing students who believe that their courses and life goals should meet the demands of the global market rather than what this country needs so it can achieve progress.
The failure of our education system to instill nationalism, social awareness and cultural identity have been able to perfectly maintain the status quo.
The aim is always to get to the top. Never to step down in the pedestal and be one with the people. Never to offer up our talents and youthful energy in serving the people.
We need to have a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented educational system if we want things to really change things in this country.
In the mean time, I am challenging my fellow youth: go out of your classrooms, examine our society, learn from the masses and take action.
Because in this kind of educational system that we have, we can only possibly have the best education out in the streets, in picket lines and even your own community.
But as for me, my current 'academic institution' taught me things that they never knew that they are teaching me and insinuated me to become radical and slowly initiate radical changes into it. I'm talking here about turning pink into bloody red. :)
"Tanging sa militanteng pakikibaka lamang lilitaw ang pinakamahusay sa kabataan. Tanging sa pakikibaka lamang patuloy na mapapanariwa ang panlabang pwersa ng walang hanggang pagdaloy ng bagong dugo." - Mula kay Faye Released, isa sa PUP 5.
Kabataan: Mag-aral, Maglingkod, Makibaka!