Binay: LGUs can help improve state of education

United Opposition (UNO) vice presidential candidate and Makati Mayor Jojo Binay said yesterday that every local government should make education a priority to help produce a skilled and a literate society.

Binay told a debate for vice presidential bets that this is the reason why Makati has one of the highest numbers of enrollees in the Philippines and a successful public education program for its residents.

“Ang high priority for sa amin ay education,” Binay said, addressing a question raised by a public school teacher on how he plans to improve the quality of education in the country if he is elected vice president.

Binay shared the experience of Makati, the premier financial hub in the country, in making education accessible to all school children and equipping teachers with the proper training.

Over the years, the city has been providing free tuition, textbooks, bags and uniform, and food to its students to encourage parents to put their kids in school.

“Ang mga estudyante namin, one is to one kami sa aklat, one is to one kami sa computer, one is to one kami sa workbook,” the UNO vice presidential candidate proudly said.

Even the public school buildings in Makati are equipped with audio-visual rooms, and speech and science laboratories, while high school students are already studying robotics, much ahead of students from public schools in other cities, Binay said.

For school year 2010-2011, the city government has earmarked a total of P408 million for the purchase of school supplies, bags and uniforms, and textbooks that will be distributed for free to public school students in Makati, and another P19 million for the schools’ feeding program.

This year’s budget allocation has been increased by P49 million from P359 million the previous school year to cover the anticipated increase in enrollment, he said.

Enrollment in Makati public schools has been increasing since school year 2007-2008 at 79,549 to 83,239 in school year 2008-2009 and 85,016 in school 2009-2010.

“Lahat kasi ng eskwelahan sa amin ay dekalidad,” Binay said.

Public school teachers within the local government’s jurisdiction are also given allowance and sent to training in the University of the Philippines or Ateneo University. “Ang mga teachers namin… tinutulungan namin na magkaroon ng sariling laptop,” Binay added.

“Hindi po kami nangangako, ginagawa na po namin ‘yan at gagawin po natin ‘yan sa buong bansa,” the UNO vice presidential candidate said.#