Grading the Performance of the Academe
What makes the role of the academe in nation building the most crucial one? The academe is the vehicle in the delivery of education and the quality of education the citizenry and their leaders receive from them determines whether a nation is destined for greatness or doomed to the abyss of stagnation.
Our distinguished members of the board of judges, esteemed members of the academe, my fellow orators, beloved parents and friends, whenever we appraise our performance as a nation and come out with a failing mark we would conveniently put the blame on the government. When we hear that poverty is becoming more prevalent, that more and more Filipinos could hardly meet both ends, that lucky if they would have a meal in a day, whom do we blame, government. When the peace talks in Mindanao failed and the Moro armed conflict rekindled we also faulted the government. For the immorality, criminality and anything abhorrent and disagreeable that would happen in our midst we point our accusing fingers so expediently to the direction of Malacañang.
We are forgetting something. A nation is as good as its citizens. What the Philippines is now is what we Filipinos made it to be and how we made it to be reflects the kind of education we received from the academe.
Our performance as a nation reflects the kind of holistic transformation the educators in the academe have effected on their students. And what kind of individuals or citizens emerged from the academe?
Argue if you may but the kind of citizenry we have in our country is the type who would say “So what if they are butchering one another in Mindanao for as long as we are safe here Luzon!” Censure me if you may should I say that we have a kind of citizenry who would blurt out “Why should I join those volunteer organizations when I would not financially be rewarded by doing so.” Correct me if I am wrong but we have a kind of citizenry who would assert “Why will I donate to the victims of calamities this money that I will use for shopping?” Shall I say in addition that we have a kind of citizenry who would throw garbage even at the middle of the road? Shall I also say that we have a kind of citizenry who would sell their votes to the highest bidders among candidates?
That is the kind of citizenry that emerged from the academe, the citizenry that our educators moulded, the citizenry that brought this nation into where it is now – in the quicksand of economic and socio-political uncertainties. Yes, for the misfortunes besetting this nation, blame not the government but that one you see when facing a mirror. Now you may contend, “Why blame me, why not the academe who transformed me into what I am now?”
Well, that’s how we Filipinos are, always finding someone else to blame. But that question is one nice point to ponder on, not by me but by the educators who are present now.
Mesdames and sirs of BULPRISA, please ask yourselves the question – “How well have the academe been performing?”