Thursday, December 14, 2006

Penmanila: A Fairer Price To Pay

Dr. Jose (Butch) Dalisay, Jr. is a columnist and a professor of the University of the Philippines. He writes for the Philippine Star, one of the leading broadsheets in the country today. Here's his resume (I was very impressed). I've always liked his articles for their wit and intelligence.

Dr. Dalisay recently wrote an article that came out in the Philippine Star and published on his blog, dated Sunday, December 10, 2006 (look for "A Fairer Price To Pay" at the Recent Post section). I agreed with him so much that I just had to let him know about it. My thoughts appear below.

11 December 2006

Dear Prof. Dalisay,

May I just say that I've been an avid reader of your column. Thank you for the witty and intelligent articles. It's very refreshing, considering the news one reads on the front page these days. I write in regard to your column published today (12/11/06), entitled "A Fairer Price to Pay."

I was a UP student once. I have a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from UP Manila (Class 2002). I went on to, and just this year graduated from, Medical School in another University. Even as an undergraduate, I have always been a firm believer that those who can afford to fully pay for their UP education must do so. Sure, as a State University, there must be some form of government support. The government can increase the Education budget all they want but I think it is more prudent to allocate the increased budget, if it were to happen, to Elementary and Secondary education. Our elementary and high schools are in a worse situation compared to the State University. Who will UP teach tomorrow when our younger students are unable to read and do arithmetic today?

A college education is not a guaranteed right even in the US. As you cited in your article, even a California resident, a citizen of the United States of America, has to cough up thousands of dollars for a semester's tuition in their own State University. The community colleges are not very different. Why does UP think it's so special then?

UP must increase its tuition. It needs to survive in this competitive world of technological advancement. My family is not rich, sir. If I was still a UP student and tuition fees were raised, I probably would have been in the highest tuition fee bracket. But I thought that was okay. I would have gotten a hell of a lot better education with better facilities. We wouldn't have had to do our Analytical Chemistry lab experiments on the corridor. We would have learned proper Biochemistry lab techniques instead of just reading about them from books. A tuition fee increase is the bitter pill we have to swallow.

If the UP administration can ensure that the poor students of UP will not be severely affected, if at all, by the tuition increase, then I think it is the right thing to do. You're right, sir. "Natural talent can only go so far."

Karl Evans Henson, MD

UP Manila Class 2002

BS-Biochemistry


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If you're a blogger yourself and use blogger.com, you would've probably seen the the ad about their new features (Blogger beta). I just recently switched to it and still don't know what to expect. My blog looks the same so I guess it's ok. I just hope I don't lose my links again, like the last time I changed layouts.

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I ditched my karlmd.i.ph blog. It was too much of a hassle to use with Firefox. I recently updated my IE to the 7th version. I still love Firefox. So I just had to say goodbye to the very nice layout of Chronicles over at i.ph. New entries will appear in the future exclusively in this corner. Ciao!

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