Being able to go to school is a privilege. Here in the United States, they offer public schools to everyone without a fee but in other countries like the Philippines, they don’t. The Philippines is one of the third-world countries which means that there’s more poor people than rich and not everyone can afford to get an education. From where I used to live when I was still there, I always see children in the streets selling flowers or rags and most of them are just below the age of 16.
They have no other choice but to do this because their parents lack money and no company would hire them because they have never even learned how to read. As I have experienced going to school in the Philippines and the United States, I am able to recognize the great differences between both countries’ ways of education. I was shocked when my mom told me over the phone that I can go to a public school in the U. S. for free. I was expecting that public schools won’t be as good as going to a private school because I used to go to a private school in the Philippines.
When I started going to Patrick Henry Middle School in Granada Hills, I realized that I was wrong. The teachers are great and I was able to focus on my studies more because there were only 6 periods each semester. In the Philippines, there are 8 periods. They even have a subject for religion, mainly for Catholics. I’m not a Catholic so the subject was a waste for me. I personally think it is the last thing I should learn about. Another surprise for me is that here, the school lends books to the students.
In the Philippines, we have to buy them, one for each subject! They don’t even give out lockers for free, we also have to rent them. I chose to rent one of course, I did not want to look like a turtle by carrying a backpack full of books, notebooks, and other school things. The others used rolling bags in order for them not to hurt their backs. In some public schools, students have to share books because the school cannot get as many books as much as there are students in it but here, almost every one of the books lent to us are in good condition.
Although going to school was painful in the Philippines, they make it a challenge for us. There are no shortened days and no minimum days. Everyday was a day full of lectures, tests, and homework except for that one day when everyone goes to a field trip. The teachers are also considered as second parents because they get to have the students with them from Monday through Friday. Their ways of discipline are harsh, they make you squat with books on your arms, and sometimes, they can even hit you with a ruler, or pinch you. Teachers here don’t do that, they warn you or send you to B-1.
It is definitely one thing I think we should be thankful for. Whether or not going to school is a good experience, it is a lot better than not being able to. I wish they could offer a free education in my country so everyone there would get a chance to learn something even though they haven’t any money to give. The way of school life in the Philippines may not be the best experience for me but it has helped me to go this far. Students should not just look at school as a meeting place to find friends but also as something very beneficial to them.