The real cost of education, part 1

By Randell Tiongson on December 24th, 2010

From my column at the Business Mirror last Tuesday, 12.21.2010

Two recent events that I participated in made me really think hard of the education of my children. As a father of four, education has been a primary concern for my wife and me. My eldest is a sophomore in the university, my second is graduating from high school, my third is in second grade and my youngest in pre-school. I believe in education and I believe that it is one thing that my wife and I can give to our children that will make or break their future.

I was invited to attend a meeting being conducted by the Reedley International School. I have no plans of sending my kids to this school so I was not really interested in attending, but my friend Carlo Ople said that they only invited a few people for some good exchange of ideas and I am to represent parents of home-schooled children (our two youngest kids are being home schooled). I was glad I was able to attend the said meeting because I learned much about the school and more than that, that is has a very good approach to education.

I learned that Reedley has a very strong policy against bullying, even cyber-bullying. Bullying is so rampant in almost all schools and society has accepted this as an acceptable circumstance, even believing that it’s good training for a child. I have met people who are victims of bullying or were bullies themselves at one time in their life and I tell you, there’s nothing acceptable in such a behavior – it really is detrimental to one’s character.

Another trait I admired about the school was that they have a culture that should be replicated in all other schools – every single faculty of the school genuinely cares for their students. The school administration really emphasizes this culture and this determines whether a faculty will continue to be employed. The school believes that when the teachers really care for the student, they learn better.

Lastly, I like the fact that Reedley is a school that gives second chances to other students. I have learned that the school has become a refuge of sorts to students from prestigious exclusive schools who can’t do well in such an environment. The school believes there are no poor students and they take these students with open arms and show they can be just as good as, if not better than, those who excel in the prestigious schools; and they do learn and they excel. Proof of this is the school’s high passing rate to choice universities not only in the Philippines but also abroad.

Catch Part 2 of this column in two weeks as I write about my other experience in another event, the hybrid high-school home-school program.  The whole idea of this two-part column is for us to understand that while education has costs, we must know how to pay for the right price for it.

A Merry Christmas to all and let us always remember the reason for the season.

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). – Matthew 1:23, NIV.

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The real cost of education, part 1