|Posted on April 29, 2010 at 4:20 AM|
Glitter Moreño, the Bacolod office co-ordinator, was invited to speak at the Lighthouse Learning Center's 14th Commencement Exercises last March 27, 2010. She shared her thoughts on the kind of education which could bring about a real and lasting solution.
27th March 2010
Education the Solution
" Firstly, I want to commend you parents for coming here today and looking all so wonderful to show your love for your children. The memory they will gather today will help them through in the toughest times of their lives in the future.
I was five when my parents enrolled me in a nearby preschool. We were financially challenged and I remember going to school with a plastic container as my bag and inside it was paper and a pencil. Every morning my father would walk me there, my hand in his, our dog Bogart with us. It was a wonderful memory and I will cherish it forever. Anyway a few days later, I realized I was the only one who did not have the complete school paraphernalia, you know crayons, pencil case, a decent bag etc...
One day my seat mate came to school with this rich possession - jumbo-sized crayons! And I said to myself, “Wow I do not even have regular crayons and he got super big crayons.” What I did next was horrible. I forcibly took one of the crayons from him because I wanted to use it. We played tug of war for a moment and I won and when I had the crayon I broke it into two. My parents were called in and I was disciplined.
I am just so thankful that my parents knew how to deal with each of their four children well. I have a very strong spirit, even as a child; and the way my parents molded me might have been a little hard to my other siblings, but that was what I exactly needed. My parents did not allow me to go back to school until they were sure that I understood contentment and that poverty never justifies stealing. My parents did not pressure me to understand it overnight and they knew I would learn it on my pace. I did not go back to that preschool, mostly because of shame and pride, but the education which I had learned from my parents that time became one pillar of my strong foundation today.
In a developing country like the Philippines, it is very common for education to be given too much emphasis. Our theme this year even says, “Education is the solution”. That makes sense of course as it is only through education that we get the chance to improve our way of living. But we need to ask ourselves, “Solution to what? Poverty?” If poverty is alleviated as a result of education, can we then really say that it is success? As a social scientist, and being quite radical, I worry, and I worry so much, and I worry every single day, that in the overemphasis of education as the solution, and I mean the systematic training we receive from schools in order to become professionals, we tend to compromise what for me is the ultimate solution-giving and lasting kind of education. That education which builds characters and does not die. And I mean values.
The global standard of measuring development is most often done through tangible indicators. How many bedrooms in your house? How many TV units? Do you have a car? How much did you pay in electricity last month? Have you traveled anywhere recently? How many kinds of viands do you have every meal? Questions like these determine if a family is poor, middle-class or rich.
And this is exactly why I worry. I believe we have come to the point where we realize that our country is not getting any better, and every poor family seem to want their children to take up nursing now so they could go abroad and earn big money; to build a big house with a lofty gate and barbed wire on top of it; to buy a luxury car and a round trip ticket to Europe or anywhere else...
We seem to define success as having more possessions and having more money.
I am not saying that these things are wrong. Of course not. It is our basic human right to improve our way of living. But I am saying that we must not allow our values to be compromised in order to get these things and we must not compromise our values when our circumstances tell us that we cannot really get these things. Parents you are absolutely in the best position to make a difference in the world through your children. They are in the position to be influenced by you. Train up your children in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.
Tell them that they are not above the other children who attend the local day care centers because they cannot afford to go to LLC or any other private preschool.
Tell them to pursue a course in college which will help them make a difference in the world and not necessarily to help them make money.
Tell them that a teacher at the LLC if not more successful, is as successful as a Filipino nurse in America.
Tell them that success is about working in the BIR 20 years from now and not receiving any bribe to earn more money.
Tell them that cheating is wrong. That success means it is better to eat once a day from honest money than to eat three times a day from stolen money.
Tell them that not all education is good for them. Tell them that success is about choosing the right friends and not giving in to peer pressure. And when they make mistakes, no matter how devastating, tell them that real success is about taking responsibility for whatever wrong they have done and changing for the better.
Tell them that success is about loving this country. I plead with you parents tell your children that. We need to love this country. Tell them to support Pinoy products and pay their taxes.
Tell them to stand up for what is right, to choose righteousness no matter how lonely no matter how difficult. And if indeed they will become rich in the future tell them to remember the street children and the beggars and the homeless in their country.
Tell them that when they die it is important to leave an honorable name than riches that will just decay.
Tell them that God loves them everyday. Trust me, it will make so much difference if they know that.
This education does more than feeding a hungry stomach. This is the Education that provides the real solution.
Finally to conclude, I would like to thank the LLC teachers, Jean, Rhea, Ana and Jonah for all your good work. You are very successful to be an important part of the lives of these children. I thank Tatay Amay for cleaning our classrooms, I thank Ireen Ingles our Cebu part-time coordinator for helping LLC in so many ways. And Mr Richard Foster, sir,we all thank you for your commitment to this country.
I congratulate you again children, may God keep you in His sight as you grow older, and I join you in your happiness parents. Let us enjoy the rest of the program. Good afternoon."