Education is Still the Key to a Successful Nation

Educated Filipinos


A question was asked: If there is one thing you can give to the Philippines, what is that gift?

It will sound cliché but my answer is “Education”.

Why? For the reason that education solves a ton of other social problems. You give education to the people, then you are actually not only giving education – you are also giving them hope, morale, and a general sense of national direction and a lot of other “intangibles” that comes along with it.

But not just any education. It has to be quality, top-notch, and state-of-the-art education which makes the Filipinos competitive and will ultimately make the Philippines a global standout no longer recognized for its hardworking OFWs but known for the intellectuals it shall produce.

In the latest UNESCO data (2008) 1 , the Philippines  registers and boasts a high literacy rate. The literacy rate of Filipinos aged 15 and above is a whopping 95%.

But don’t get too excited nor confused or baffled by this statistics. “Literacy” in literacy rate simply means “being able to read and write”. This data simply means that 95% of adult  Filipinos are able to read and write.

If we would go to the details, we’d actually see that for every 100 elementary students, only 58 of them will reach high school. Out of the 58, only 23 will reach college. Out of that 23, only 14 will actually finish college 2. So in reality, only 14 out of 100 Filipinos are educated. Sure, the country is not remiss in its duty to provide basic education – but that’s all where the effort is.

The implication of this is baffling in so many levels and in so many aspects. A lot of today’s problems can be explained by this. Problems like why are the Filipino masses so gullible? Why are we oppressed? Why are we, as a nation, not doing any real effort to combat oppression? Why do we continue to be fooled by the same people over and over again? Why don’t we care? It’s because we, as a people, lack the education which empowers us.

A third of the country’s problem would be solved if we have a country filled with educated people – not just an army of people who can read and write.

Education gives the people power. It puts them on equal footing vis- à -vis the traditional elite. It makes the society dynamic because there will be a constant exchange of public opinion. Power will not be retained in just a few group of people because people will be more critical of their leaders.

Education scales down  the number of pawns. People do not have to wait for others to tell them what to do because an educated crowd is a thinking crowd capable of initiating significant changes. People will have the confidence to speak out their minds. It will remove that mentality of self-pity. The ordinary Filipino will no longer have to say “Nahihiya akong magsalita kasi wala akong pinag-aralan.” Surely, tables will be turned.

Education will create a society which is proud of itself no longer oppressed and being silent about it.

So if I have one gift I can give to the Philippines, it would be education!

How about you? What is that one gift that you’d like to give the Philippines? Post your answers on the comment form below!


  1. http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/philippines/literacy-rate
  2. http://howard.uberdigests.info/2010/06/17/a-mini-critique-on-depeds-preschool-sex-education-program/

About the author

Howard Chan (The Student)

Howard considers himself as an armchair activist. Though his street rally days are in a slumber he still advocates changes via social media. He is a strong believer that awareness of various social issues is a good starting point in order to break out from the stranglehold of an oppressive system which only benefits the few. He is also a full time student and a part time blogger, part time web designer, part time web manager/designer for various clients. (Note: Howard Chan passed the 2014 Bar Exams and was admitted to the Philippine Bar on April 29, 2015. That being, all posts after April 29, 2015 authored by him are now under the name Howard Chan for the purpose of distinguishing posts he made as a non-lawyer from posts he made after admission to the bar).


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  1. Joanna

    Agree to this! No one should be deprived of quality education. Aside from its completely unjust nature, it is also a potent inhibitor of development. How else is a nation going to develop if not through the efforts of its people? We need competent, educated individuals to drive this country into progress. (Also, we need access to quality healthcare to ensure the well-being of our people. hihi)

    1. Howard Chan (The Student)

      Totally agree with you Joanna. A sound mind needs a sound body – and vice versa!

  2. Mia Amor

    If I had the ability to help the Philippines by giving gift I would give them a Advanced Military equipment – The military served as the protection of a country, it protects not only the higher-ups people but also the overall citizen of the country. To prevent annihilation of our people and country of the possible war that could occur we couldn’t afford to be possibly defenseless and just let the invaders take advantage of us without putting much a fight. And its also help and served our people at time of crisis.

    Comment on my blog too thanks! http://miaamorilag.blogspot.com/2014/01/globeprojectwonderful2014-contest.html

  3. Howard Chan

    Thanks Mia! Done commenting on your article!

  4. Mary Anne Dela Torre

    It is not cliche at all… I have the same sentiments.

    “We can tackle our poverty in two very distinct ways. The first choice: a nationalist revolution, a continuation of the revolution in 1896. But even before we can use violence to change inequities in our society, we must first have a profound change in our way of thinking, in our culture. My regret about EDSA is that change would have been possible then with a minimum of bloodshed. In fact, a revolution may not be bloody at all if something like EDSA would present itself again, or a dictator unlike Marcos.

    The second is through education, perhaps a longer and more complex process. The only problem is that it may take so long and by the time conditions have changed, we may be back where we were, caught up with this tremendous population explosion which the Catholic Church exacerbates in its conformity with doctrinal purity.

    To repeat, neither education nor revolution can succeed if we do not internalize new attitudes, new ways of thinking. ” – F.Sionil Jose

    Read the whole article here:

    1. Howard Chan (The Student)

      Thank you for sharing the link! Awesome article by Fr. Jose. It’s true what he said, that we are our own enemy. No one’s really stopping us from being a great country but ourselves!

  5. Pang Ariz Liman

    "i'll go abroad. mas maganda nang mamatay ako sa bala, kesa sa gutom!….nakatapos ka nga sa colegio, kung 'di overqualified, under experience, o not related to course ang isasampal sa yo during application……." and he kept puffing and huffing and blew the straw house away….heard this comment in one tv interview insan. patriotism is what i think we need at the moment. if we do not love our country, or even, at least lust for her, leaches on both private and government sectors will suck her dry. leaving her exposed and unclothed to be ravished and preyed upon and we, her children, do nothing, is treason. i know we love our country, but doing nothing to defend that love, i consider, is heinous crime. 🙂

  6. Howard Chan

    Agree insan! That's also one thing the Filipinos lack these days…

  7. Harriet

    Proper disaster and crisis preparation and survival training will also be a great gift to fellow Filipinos since our country is prone to a battery of typhoons every year.

  8. Aby Weygan

    sorry nalate bro.. yup, perhaps that is why we continue to teach or at least aspire to but you could add better pay,better working conditions and better trainings for the educators themselves. at least raise them to the level of doctors and lawyers, on how we pay and regard them.

    Still, just for a palaisipan,(for reflection hehe) why is it that the most corrupt in our country are also the most educated?

    1. Howard Chan (The Student)

      i guess it has something to do with the old cliche “walang manloloko kung walang nagpapaloko”. . hehe.. but seriously, i think it still boils down to education.. these people who use their intelligence to cheat on their constituents do so with impunity because a lot of their constituents are well, not that well-educated.

      and you’re right, educators here are taken for granted (and i guess everywhere else except perhaps in scandinavian states) .. it may take a long time before their working conditions will be elevated.. but until then, let’s continue this process of educating people in and outside schools.. let’s take all available platforms..

  9. Mary Joy Baybay

    If there is one thing you can give to the Philippines, what is that gift?

    If this questions ask for a literal thing, then, I would love to give the Philippines the latest medical/hospital equipment so that there's no need to go to expensive and very few hospital. Also, it will be accessible to all and there's no need to go to metro or cities for the people in provinces.In line with the equipments would be Doctors, because we don't have enough of them. So that everyone would be healthy. Healthier people will bring healthier and productive community.

    But if this questions ask for "anything" to give to the Philippines, aside from your quality education, which I agree, then I'd like to give the Philippines honest officials. If we have honest officials, then we would have better economy, that would result to better Philippines. If only, they will put funds/budget on appropriate projects and wouldn't think on "their own pockets/commissions" then we'll have enough classrooms, they can help our farmers through great roads, good irrigation system, we'll have better health services etc. etc.

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