NEGROS FIRST! Strong Support for Education
Theorists have pointed out that a nation’s economic development is a function of the quality of its education, i.e., the more (and better) educated its people are, the better the chances of a country’s economic development. This is also true at the provincial level, thus, it is imperative that we invest in our human capital to increase our potentials for economic development and global competitiveness.
At the societal level, education has an equalizing effect in that it helps overcome the gap between the rich and the poor families by providing equal opportunities for a better life. By making education (particularly college education) to a student from a poor family, a better future is ensured not only for the student concerned but for the whole family in the long run. Education is seen as the tool that liberates people from poverty, ignorance and hopelessness.
At the basic education level, a teacher’s capacity to educate is almost directly proportional to a student’s capacity to learn. It is, therefore, important to upgrade teachers’ capacities, providing them incentives to take up advanced trainings. This is to ensure that they are able to teach the competence that the average citizen needs to become responsible, productive and self-fulfilling. This is especially urgent in the public education arena, with 95 percent of all elementary students attending public schools.
We will strengthen support for the existing Negros Occidental Scholarship Program, expanding it to include private high school education for top public elementary school graduates, to give them access to first-class secondary education normally available only to the children of the wealthy.
The program could also provide incentives for high school honor graduates to pursue a degree in Education to ensure good quality teachers in the future. The incentives could also be offered to top HS graduates who would pursue degrees in Accounting, Veterinary Medicine, and other identified priority courses to match the market.
In collaboration with TESDA, we will offer short-term technical or vocational courses to train more workers who want to get into the lucrative world market for welders, pipe fitters, and butchers, among others, including English teachers and I.T. professionals.
We will also support the national government’s thrust to promote an entrepreneurial culture by incorporating entrepreneurship in the educational curriculum.
We will encourage other LGUs to replicate Sagay City’s successful pilot “School of the Future” whose graduates have qualified for full scholarships at institutions like the Ateneo University in Metro Manila.