Can Today's Youth Still Be Tomorrow's Future?
That while many children go to school considering unfinished projects and assignments as one of their heaviest burdens in life, some kids go to school for the sake of escaping unhappy family situations and poverty.
In my interview with a public school teacher in one of the least performing schools in our city, she claimed that there are about 3 to 4 pupils in her class who go to school for the sake of having something to eat. “They do not have snacks or lunch with them. Sometimes they go to school with an empty stomach. When it’s time to go home, they stay a little longer. I understand that they’re hungry and so I give them food to eat,” she said.
The kids would begin to smile and help her in cleaning the room and tidying books in the bookshelves. After which the teacher would then ask them to go home. These same pupils would just keep quiet and sit a little longer until it gets dark and it’s time for the teacher to leave.
“I asked one pupil why she didn’t want to go home and she told me that going home meant having to witness their unhappy state of life. It meant having to watch her siblings suffer from hunger no matter how hard her parents tried to let ends meet,” she added in pity.
Two pesos was what the teacher would give each one of them and if they were lucky enough, there were times when the teacher gave them five pesos each. They would then paint beautiful and innocent smiles on their faces as if they were the luckiest persons alive. Two pesos meant so much to them and it was enough to alleviate their hunger. “At least when I get home, I’m the only person a little less hungry than the rest in the family,” was what another pupil would say.
Poverty is a problem many Filipinos are facing these days, with only one-third of the population belonging to the richest of the rich. How then will the youth of today be the future of tomorrow when the basic fuel that drives them to reach their dreams and aspirations is the very thing they do not have?