If you are a parent and does not have much money, which would you prefer? Send your child in a school in another town, but the transportation fare is only 6 pesos, or a public school in your own town, where the fare is more than doubled?
This, according to a councilor in the session held on Monday, is the cause Baras National High School is losing enrollees. Without giving figures proving such dwindling school population, Councilor Renato Llagas said that Grade VI graduates of Baras Elementary School and Santiago Elementary School now prefer to study in other towns. He said that some Barasenians now study in the recently-opened Lagundi National High School, Morong National High School and Tanay National High School.
The management of BNHS asked SB to pass a resolution to support the proposal to use two rooms within the BES compound and the government owned building near the Catholic church. The classrooms will be used to house freshman students of BNHS.
Let’s compute how much it costs to commute. If you live in Barangay Evangelista and study in BNHS, you need to take a jeepney (6 pesos, with the student discount) or a tricycle (8 pesos with student discount) to go to the terminal. Let’s assume that you prefer to take the jeep. Upon reaching the terminal, you have to pay 9 pesos. That’s a total of 15 pesos already.
However, if you study in Tanay or Morong, you only have to pay 6 pesos for the fare.
The question now becomes – even if the graduates of BES and SES enroll as freshmen in BNHS, and study in the buildings within the town proper, what happens when they reach second year high school? I think they would enroll, still, in schools in other towns since it’s much cheaper.
Councilor Ramon Matignas Jr. has called the proposal a “quick fix” but the better term he used was “panakip-butas.” I could not agree more. The solution is not to bring the school to the students. Rather, we should encourage the students to study in BNHS. The school has to justify that despite the existence of alternative schools within and outside Baras, BNHS can deliver high quality education. What does BNHS have that other schools do not have? Although it is still the choice of parents on what they deem beneficial to their children, isn’t good that they support their own town? Also, we have to remember that development of the town no longer resides within the town proper. The trend is economic activities should go upland.
If the high transportation costs discourage parents from sending their kids to school, the local government might want to subsidize the fare.