Even as we uphold the right to education, we must above all address the problem of poverty and the chronic malnutrition of our school children.
KABAYAN Party List’s Atty. Harry Roque underscored before members of the Philippine Elementary Schools Principals Association (PESPA) the crucial role they play as educators. He reiterated however that educators can be effective only if the government reduces the poverty rate and the chronic malnutrition among schoolchildren.
“My mother was a Math teacher. As a son of an educator like you, and as an educator myself, I know that we can be effective only if our student’s most basic needs are addressed. It is difficult to teach when our students are hungry and not adequately nourished.”
Atty. Roque led the oath-taking of the newly-elected officers of the 47 year old PESPA during their 9th biennial congress at Waterfront Hotel Cebu City on April 20-22, 2016.
Citing the recent survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Atty. Roque pointed out that chronic malnutrition, or stunting rate, increased to an average of 40% from 2013 to 2015.
In addition, he added that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that poverty incidence among Filipinos rose to 25.8% in the first half of 2014, from 24.6% in 2013.