Education as a Campaign Promise

“Yes, if I win in this coming elections, I will do this and I will do that.”

Promises are all over as the campaign period goes into full swing for the coming May elections. But the two most prominent areas of concern are poverty and education. You will always hear candidates who are running in the May elections that they will address poverty by generating more jobs for the poor and controlling price increases for basic commodities — a promise that has been made over and over but has yet to produce results.

Now comes education. I was surprised to hear from the current candidates the promise of providing better education to our children. They want every child of this nation to be given the proper education and equal opportunity. According to the candidates, our children are the future of this nation. I will not contest that statement nor do I have any qualms about it. I only have one question: How do these candidates intend to make their promises a reality?

Providing quality education to our children will entail a lot of work and money. The candidates should understand that quality education encompasses formal schooling in elementary school, high school and college, as well as job training and technical assistance. Quality education is not just about providing new schools, new tables and chairs and new books — quality education is a process and a continuing process at that.

Now I will not dwell on the entire process but would just like to focus on one thing — the technical aspect of education. These include providing the right equipment, the right courseware and the right peopleware.

If they get elected, how much of their salary or countrywide development fund (pork-barrel) will be given to buy computer hardware? Software? Training the teachers? How much and how soon? Before the next elections in 2010, can we be assured that all public schools will have their own computer laboratories equipped with the latest applications that should be closely tied with the overall quality education curriculum?

In case you’re wondering why I am putting so much focus on computer literacy, the reason is simple — computer skills are no longer a choice but a must nowadays Computer skills are a basic fact of life for everyone. Even if you don’t work with computers in order to complete your primary work duties, it is likely that you will run into them from time to time. In fact, most jobs, from cashiering to management, require basic computer knowledge. And more and more jobs are demanding that workers become increasingly knowledgeable with and comfortable using computers.

Everyone should note that having the right computer skills can help you engage in a greater number of tasks at your current job, complete tasks more quickly and accurately, become a candidate for a wider-range of job opportunities, help you access additional resources and information and upgrade your education more easily. More important, you develop better earning potential.

For our readers who would want to know which computer skills are appropriate for them, here’s a simple tip to guide you. Computer skills fall in four types of tasks, namely administration, sales and marketing, web and media design and computer programming and development. For administration, you would need to learn office productivity tools like Microsoft Word and Excel or OpenOffice Write and Math among others. For sales and marketing, learning Powerpoint, Impress, Photoshop and others will be an advantage. For web and media design, learn Dreamweaver, Frontpage and other web media design tools. And lastly, for computer programming and development, take courses that involve Java, PHP, .Net, and others.

And mind you, we are just talking about computer skills here, we should be reminded that there are other skills that we should also develop in order to become successful like communication and interpersonal skills and more.

So to these candidates who are using education as a campaign pitch to get elected, I really hope that you’re sincere with your promise that you will provide quality education to all the children of this nation, and I mean ALL. If you’re saying that our children are the future of this nation, then let me tell you that quality education is our children’s future. Keep that in mind will you?

*****

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