Should expensive private schools like the Ateneo de Manila and De La Salle be banned?

report on the work needed to reform Malaysian state services now that a peaceful change of leadership had transpired provides some insight on the growing private school industry in southeast Asia. For the average outsider, the reliance of a society’s elite on private schools to educate their youth is regarded to be not normal

There is also something seriously wrong with the Malaysian education system. 

The proof is the increasing number of parents putting their children in expensive private schools instead of state-funded public schools. There are now 170 international schools in Malaysia. The number of Malaysian students enrolled in international schools is now the highest in Southeast Asia…

This actually makes sense. Private schools, specially expensive ones like the Ateneo and De La Salle potentially contribute to the extreme wealth gap and exclusive nature of plum employment opportunities in the Philippines. Indeed, private schools are right up there with gated communities as disturbing symptoms of an underlying fundamental cancer ailing Philippine society.

Perhaps it is time to consider the merits of nationalising education. After all, many “equality” advocates view education as a “human right”. As such it comes across as quite contradictory to see a “human right” like education have variable and even negotiable quality standards subject to free market forces.

Under the liberal premise that “human rights” is “non-negotiable”, it only makes sense that the state ensures that the financially-advantaged in Philippine society not be accorded educational privileges over all the rest that could be bought with money. That would be unfair, wouldn’t it?

An article on the very same debate in Australia brilliantly captures this position…

Private schools heighten inequality, privileging the privileged, hogging the teaching talent and siphoning off kids already equipped with reading backgrounds, so depriving the public system of beneficial peer-to-peer learning.

But that’s not all. Tribalising children before they outgrow the booster seat can only encourage class-based and religious sectarianism.

In the case of Australia, a descent to classism, polarisation, and the destruction of its egalitarian society is already being warned about, and squarely in the crosshairs of the debate there is the private school industry. The Philippines, for its part, already is in a situation Australians fear, and it is imperative that its society extricate itself off that pit of social degeneracy. This is a conversation long overdue.

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16 Comments on “Should expensive private schools like the Ateneo de Manila and De La Salle be banned?”

  1. All schools should us the same curricula, that will get rid of the inequality.. Public schools teaching English is an example when most the teachers are not fully conversant.. at one school here in the province the Principle is an English Major yet cannot carry out a conversation in English.. how about other subjects.. probably the same..

  2. Even in the U.S., private schools are being questioned.

    I see this as liberalism done right. So you want equality of education. So why are there a lot of schools given too much leeway in having different standards from public schools? Nationalizing education might help solve this by requiring all schools to be on the same page.

    There’s also the issue where people, especially irate parents, are questioning the expensive requirements. This is not just in tuition, but materials. For example, instead of using standardized books, a teacher will require their own authored book for class. Another class in the same level and school might even use a different book. Some schools provide materials for their activities for free, while others require the student to provide their own (fine in college maybe, but questionable for lower levels). This makes people hate it that education has to be a business, but worse is that teachers and staff take advantage of their position to cook their business on the side (not just requiring their own book, but even requiring students to buy things from them). Of course, I know teachers take crap pay; it doesn’t justify shenanigans. Hopefully Benign0’s proposal can solve this.

    Once can argue that in ancient history schools were originally founded for the elite. These are the academies in ancient Greece, and schools for government employees in ancient China. So school started out as elitist. But it got adopted for the masses, to help make them more contributive to society. The problems evolved to the above, and to elitism taking a different form: schools for the elite, and public schools. School was probably appropriated to help address social divides, but it soon became one of the tools for propagating such. Sadly, society has its way of trying to maintain divides in societies, because of human nature.

    If atheists hate religion being taught in schools, they might want to support the above proposal. Perhaps nationalization of schools in their standardization can prohibit religious indoctrination as part of education. You can always have that in Sunday school, where it should be in my opinion.

    And there’s this thing about “educated” people more likely to become leftists, liberals, SJWs, terrorists, etc. And lousy ones, at that. It means being educated gets to the head. I’m not sure nationalization will put a stop to this, but it probably could be traced to the private schools being so partisan. In our own public schools, of course, it’s the leftist organizations leading people astray and sending them to the mountains to be brainwashed. For this, I hope a new version of the anti-subversives act will be passed, because it’s proven that these subversives are harming our society.

  3. If the yellows seriously think that the election of the new government is EDSA inspired, this should serve as a clarion call for them. I’ll make my profile picture black to protest this.

  4. Can somebody, please, tell/inform me (or provide a link) what the (main) differences are between private and public schools in PH, besides tuition?

    In my country all schools are public, although one can choose for a secular or religious based school. Both still are paid for and subsidised by the national government and parents have to cough up tuition each school year. And yes, an atheist can join a school that is based on religion.

    1. The main difference is quality. The public system has very little resources and struggles to insure adequate education of its students. The private schools tend not to have that issue, they need money they just up the rates.

      1. I agree with this answer. Private schools tend to have more funding than Public schools here, which are sorely neglected by our government.

        However, if I may add, among the private schools, the “Elite” ones like Ateneo and La Salle have two more advantages: brand and connections.

        Brand… everybody sees it as some sort of guarantee that everybody from the “Elite” schools will produce “better” graduates than other “generic products”.

        As for connections, alma maters usually stick together. And for the “Elite” schools it holds true. They could easily get referrals to companies from upperclassmen who already work at said company. This won’t be so different from Harvard, as I’ve heard. “It’s not what you know , it’s who you know”.

        1. Thanks Kyle and thanks Random,
          one other question. What does it take to become a teacher in PH (obviously for a pinoy/pinay)? Is there (are there) differences in becoming a teacher to teach at a kIndergarten, elementary/primary/secondary/ high school/college/university?

          In my country not just any ‘fool’ can stand in front of a class room. One has to attend (and pass the exam) of a specific teachers school.

    2. One other thing is that private schools have more leeway in their curriculum than public schools. They have only a minimum of items to comply with as set by the education department, and can require their own courses, such as religion, on students (they can insert their partisan biases here). Public schools on the other hand strictly follow the education department curriculum. Perhaps this link can explain more, even about the Philippine situation. Quality issues can depend on the specific country. For example, in a link I provided in my comment above, public schools in the U.S. are favored more than private schools.

      1. Thanks Chino for providing the link. Read everything there including the 3 comments.
        Its really extreme (USA and thus probably also PH) compared not only to my country but also compared to Belgium and Germany.

  5. There are those who feel that the world is ultimately moving closer to Truth and to prosperity as the times evolve; then there are those who feel that it is ultimately moving farther away from Truth and into self-destruction. From this, and if it were really that simplistic, one might get the impression that life gravitates slightly into two types of people whom which are diametrically opposed in spirit.

  6. I don’t believe in banning those elitist private schools. However, I believe in improving the Quality of public school education. There are many ways to improve public schools, to be on par with those elitist private schools.

    U.P. is an example of a public university, that has gone down in its quality. It is because, it is caught up in liberalism and leftist ideology. So, students, who should be studying their lessons, are busy demonstrating for leftist political agendas.
    U.P. as a university, was politicized by the Aquino Cojuangco political axis.

    Most of us are products of public school education. Unless your parent are well to do. In the course of life, it is the duty of the student to struggle, to get as much as he/she can with the education he/she receives. Schools are not only the sources of education. There are many libraries, with good books. There is the internet, with Information Technology.

    Private schools or no private school; your goals in life, and your eagerness to learn, determine your success. If not, all those sons and daughters of rich people, who got elitist school educations, should had been all successful.

  7. Pardon, but I would sorely disagree with the opinion of banning private schools in the Philippines. At least, in our current state.

    Based on the average quality of our public schools right now, no I don’t think private schools should be banned.
    At present, our teachers are severely underpaid, which could lead to lower quality output. Our teachers don’t entirely run on goodwill and posterity’s sake, they still need money to go by their daily lives and their families. I’m not dissing out on public schools just because, but there is some root problem that we really need to address before we start talking about “banning private schools”.

    If by some miracle that the quality of public school teachings become equal to private schools, then private schools will naturally die out in that case. But first, we need to give our teachers a decent salary, ensure proper learning facilities like sufficient classrooms and libraries, have decent student populations, encourage student learning (and aversion from vices perhaps) and a lot more. All of these must be shouldered by the government. Can they do that? Of course they can, if they raise our taxes. So are we willing to have our incomes slashed for the sake of the country?

  8. There is also the difference in how the school staff treats a student, based on their standing in society. You pay for the treatment and environment in private schools. Public school staff just treat students like they are unwanted children.

  9. To close the quality gap between public and private, I think it’d be better to work on giving the public schools the same advantages that private schools have rather than taking said advantages away from everyone all together.

  10. BANNING A SCHOOL? BECAUSE IT IS EXPENSIVE ? What a MORONIC IDEA. So, lets see, in the USA do you think that people would screa, fpr HARVARD U, MIT, or YALE University to be closed down ? even if a Bachelor’s Degree will run your parents a COOL HALF-MILLION USDollars? NO, what a dumbfuck article !

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