A Promise and Catholic Education

A Promise and Catholic Education

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.

— American poet Robert Lee Frost

OUR short exposé last week (dated July 8) regarding the contractor, who cornered the P1.1 billion contract for learning modules to be supplied for the school year 2021-2022 after ‘doctoring’ the required documents submitted to the Department of Education (DepEd), apparently bore fruit.

Based on the letter of education undersecretary Salvador Malana, he immediately told DepEd’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) to review the requirements submitted by JC Palabay Enterprises Inc. that was earlier pinpointed as having no qualification to join any government bidding procedure because it did not have the capacity or financial capability to enter any government contract or project.

In his letter, Malana promised that DepEd will never condone or allow any anomalous transaction by any individual or group—even if protected by any trusted person of President Rodrigo Duterte–because one of the primary advocacies of the chief executive is to rid the government of graft and corruption.

Well, we do hope that our good undersecretary will certainly make good on his promise to prove JC Palabay’s attempt to defraud the government because if this doesn’t happen, it’s like he has proven the futility of eradicating corruption from the government!

Good luck, Mr. Malana . . . But be cautious, too, because you might end up in the gutters or relieved from your position so much like what happened to a friend of mine who on being appointed in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) exposed the smuggling operations of two individuals very close to the president but as a result of this was later booted out and unceremoniously transferred to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Needless to say, if DepEd is truly trying to cleanse its ranks of anomalous transactions, then it should at least blacklist companies like JC Palabay to ensure that they get what is worth the public funds they will spend on supplies and equipment like learning modules for our children’s education.

ACROSS the globe, Catholic educational institutions are known for enhancing students’ knowledge and skills and developing their overall personalities.

In the Philippines, thousands, including politicians, bureaucrats, business magnates, media persons, writers and influential people, have studied in Catholic institutions and during pre-pandemic times, these institutions experienced a rush for admissions each year despite the high cost of tuition fees and expenditures.

But why do most Filipinos, even in Muslim Mindanao, prefer Catholic institutions?

Is it because of their reputation or because they think Catholic education will make their children better human beings? Or do they think education in these schools, though expensive, is better compared to public institutions in their area?

These answers that are really questions to the first are all debatable issues but what is significant about them is that they could help check if Catholic institutions are on the right track in giving the right education to our children—or is it the government that dictates what should be learned and taught in our schools?

Yet before we react to this last question, let us go back to our original focus in determining whether education in Catholic schools helped our society change for the better by producing generations of young people who will stand up for moral and ethical values, show concern for the poor and stick their necks out to defend human rights and more importantly, be ready to speak the truth in the face of threats and harassment from the powers-that-be.


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