Confused vision or none at all?
By Rudy Arizala
The information in the column of Prof. Randy David "Confusion and Vision," (The Philippine Daily Inquirer of 11 September 2005) about a student leaders´conference in the University of the Philippines is indeed timely and worth the attention of all concerned.
In said Conference it was discovered that eighty percent of the students are confused as to what is going on in or country; that they don´t know who is telling the truth about the alleged cheating in the last presidential elections. In the words of the columnist: "They are not sure who is right or wrong; or what morality means in politics. They do not know whom to trust among the country´s leaders. They do not know what feelings they should have, and how they should act."
Columnist Randy David opined that "it is not just confusion we are battling here. We are also up against cynicism, fear, despair, and the pull of blind affinities." And how do we solve these problems? He suggests that we might be able to overcome these if we could perceive or know what kind of government we want. And "that is self-reliant (government) and capable of governing itself, is run by leaders who inspire trust in their people, who in turn have a reason to be proud of their identity and heritage and fully embrace their responsibilities as citizens."
All these years since we became an independent and sovereign nation, judging from the speeches and policies laid down by various Philippine Presidents, I have thought that we have already such vision for our country.
As to the youth of the land, I have also the impression that the students of the State University (U.P.) are the most well-informed, articulate, independent-minded and alert segments of our society. It has been said that whenever the late Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon would like to test public opinion or know the public pulse as to certain policies he would launch, his testing ground was the U.P. campus. In other words, U.P. was the barometer of our economic, social and political climate.
I was, therefore, surprised, if not shocked and made me feel sad when I learned that the U.P. students at a recent Student Leaders´Conference, are confused on our political situation; what morality means in politics; and "they do not know what feelings they should have, and how they should act."
I was taught since in the grade school through high school and up to the university level that the foundations of our family, society and government are the home, church and school. These triumvirate institutions are supposed to be the ones to mold the personality, character and future of a person. At home we are supposed to be taught love of family, right conduct and morality. The church is to teach us love of God, of thy neighbor, the concept of right and wrong, morality and justice; and the school love of country, good manners and right conduct, patriotism, system of government, our national identity, pride in our country, race, civic efficiency, responsibilities and about the lives of our national heroes aside from the "three R´s" -- reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic. And in college or university, we are supposed to consolidate and strengthen all what we have learned in the lower level of education to adequately prepare us for our respective professions or careers in life.
Have these three institutions -- home, church and school -- failed in their tasks because recently, 80 percent of students at the University of the Philippines are confused, do not know who is telling the truth, or what the truth is, what morality means in politics; and they do not know what feelings they should have, and how they should act?
And last but not the least, despite Rizal´s writings, Mabini´s True Decalogue, and Quezon´s Code of Citizenship and Ethics, does it mean the youth of our land have failed to grasp or remember what our vision should be? As stated in Mr. Randy David´s column a nation that is: a self-reliant and capable of governing itself; run by leaders who inspire trust in their people; a citizenry proud of their identity and heritage and fully embrace their responsibilities.
There is a need to reexamine our institutions to be able to adopt remedial measures and achieve the vision we have for our beloved country. Let us go back to the basics. The foundations of good, efficient, honest and just government are the home, church and school.