Fight poverty, through education— Celso urges PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 June 2011 17:05

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday challenged educators to do their best efforts to fight poverty through quality education stressing that it was education that fueled Rizal’s patriotic heart to write novels that sparked Philippine revolution and freed the country from colonialism.

“Dr. Jose Rizal had fought colonialism, and still today we are faced with similar struggle, this time not against Spanish or any foreign colonialism, but a struggle against poverty”, Mayor Lobregat said in his message during ceremonies marking the 150th birth anniversary of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal at the Plaza Rizal fronting City Hall early Sunday (June 19) morning.

Among the many things that he was, Rizal was also a teacher and a writer beign the author of remarkable novels as “La Joventud Filipina” and “Mi Ultimo Adios” where he referred to the youth as the hope of our fatherland, according to Lobregat.

The youth, thus, he said, should be given the access to quality education as this is their best chance at giving a better future for their families, for themselves, for their community, for the city and for the country.

Mayor Lobregat in his speech could not help but express dismay over results of the recent Licensure Examinations for Teachers (LET) nationwide where out of the total 33,023 examinees for the elementary level, only 5,221 or 15% passed while out of the 29,267 examinees for the secondary level, only 7,690 or 26% passed.
What is more lamentable, he said, are the results for Zamboanga City, where out of the 2,242 examinees for elementary level, only 95 or 4.24% passed while out of the 1,243 examinees for secondary level, only 120 or 9.65% passed.

“Just looking at the statistics, one could see that there is a major problem when it comes to education and the quality of education”, the mayor stressed citing statistics he secured from the Philippine Regulation Commission during the oath taking rites for new teachers June 18 at the Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial gym where he was a guest.

He emphasized: “If that is the quality of education in the education sector itself, can we imagine the state of education of our youth? This is the biggest fight and battle that is besetting us right now”.

While Rizal and the other revolutionaries of his time fought against the foreign invasion, the country at present is confronted with different challenges, foremost of which is poverty, according to the chief executive.

“To the teachers and educators who are with us today, I urge you to do the best that you can in ushering quality education to our students. I know it is not an easy task but always remember you are part in building the foundation of the future,” the mayor said.

He said people should start the fight against poverty through education, as education is the solution. “Let us together do this. This is the challenge to teachers on this 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal”.

The Zamboanga commemoration of Rizal’s birth anniversary was a joint undertaking of the city government and the Knights of Rizal. It kicked off with the flag raising rite followed by the floral offering and subsequently the commemorative program.

Also present in the ceremonies were Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, Councilors Lilia Nuno and Luis Biel III, Knights of Rizal area commander for Western Mindanao Domingo Falcasantos, KOR Zamboanga commander Fidel Milan, 3rd Air Division Deputy Commander BGen. Luis Nemenzo, Westmincom Deputy Commander BGen. Gerardo Layug, Task Force Zamboanga Chief Col. Buenaventura Pascual, 530th Wing commander Col. Emeraldo Magnaye, Police Deputy Chief P/Supt. Alex Carabot, regional directors and employees, school heads, principals and students, city department heads and employees, non-government organizations, civic groups, girl scouts and boy scouts, barangay officials and other sectors. — Sheila Covarrubias