Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gordon: Invest more in public education

Public school pupils will perform far below their counterparts in the private schools unless the government invests more for their education and health, Sen. Richard J. Gordon said yesterday.

Gordon said the government spends, P6, 354 per public school student, which he said accounts for the low quality of education in the country.

In contrast, Gordon said, Thailand’s budget per student is P47, 700; Malaysia, P56, 846; United States, P123, 200, and Japan P293, 440.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), 6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) should be allocated to education while the World Bank pegs the figure at 20 percent.

Gordon, however, explained that the government allocates only 2.53 percent of the GDP and only 12 percent of its national outlay to education, which is why there is staggering shortage in school facilities and manpower in public schools.

Gordon is the author of Senate Bill 2402, or the Health and Education Acceleration Program (HEAP), which is touted the “text-for-change” bill.

The bill requires telecommunication companies to remit part of their net profits from local text messaging that would help augment government resources to finance needed education and health infrastructure.

The country suffers from a backlog of 9,754 classrooms at the cost of P7.31 billion; 4,121,009 billion; 39,762 teachers at P5.28 billion and an additional P79 million for their training; and 8,499 principals at P1.66 billion.

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