Education: A Luxury

Watching the news, I saw that the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) just approved an increase in tuition fee for private colleges and universities. It scares me to think that I might not be able to give my daughter a good education one day.

It is mind-boggling how here in our country, going to college is treated as a status symbol like an Hermes bag or a Bentley. No offense to people but sometimes we do stereotype people according to school not on their skills or the quality of education in their school, but rather on what social class walks their halls.

I was lucky enough to have gone to a state university when I went to college. I am proud that for 15 units(5 subjects) per semester, I only spent 5313.50 pesos. That costs 10 times less than an average “It bag”! In that small sum, I was able to have gained my knowledge from some of the greatest minds our country has produced.

Admittedly, I was never a good student. If I had to go to class, I couldn’t wait to go out and drink with my friends. I never took studying seriously, I was always cozy in the knowledge that I could always cram all my papers once I get home to my comfy room and get on my laptop with a venti cup of coffee from Starbucks.

I thought I had school pride whenever I would bash people for not being smart enough to get into my school. Yes, I was one of those assholes who thought too highly of themselves and yet didn’t do anything significant. But going into recruitment, I found another aspect of school pride.

In my job, I am paid to assess people. I scrutinize everything from skills, to personality to educational attainment. I hate to admit but I sometimes discriminate, thinking that a graduate from the top 3 schools is worth my time than someone from a school I’ve never heard of.

At these times, I catch myself and look at the desperate faces of the people I fail. Did I fail them because they did not meet the standards that the job description set or is it because like a fashion editor, they were Coach and Nine West while I was looking for Dior and Proenza Schouler?

I hope that one day we can get over this kind of thinking or at the very least provide equal opportunity for education. We have a lot of untapped resources in the form of really smart and talented people who do not have the chance to get the proper schooling. I’m pretty sure every problem will be solved in time once we have good doctors, lawyers, engineers, agriculturists, etc. who are not in it for just the swanky title that they can shove in your face at the next cocktail party.