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May 31

Fudging the numbers

Last night the scuttlebutt concerned the President’s bungled public cabinet meeting, in which she ended up debating the Education Secretary on how best to fudge the numbers concerning classrooms. The news stories of course, do not capture the flavor of what happened the way Jove Francisco’s eyewitness account can. How best to explain the fudging that was bungled? Uniffors explains it mirthfully, comparing it to a passage from Alice in Wonderland:

Secretary of Education Fe Hiidalgo reported a classroom shortage of 6,832 based on a ratio of 45 students per classroom. Queen Taray disagreed. She said the classroom shortage would only be 1,000 if Hidalgo used a 100:1 ratio.

As the discussion over dinner went last night, based on the President’s logic, hold 24 hour marathon classes (half day classes, four times a day), and there would be no classroom shortage!

More action in the fudging numbers department: there’s been a heated debate in Pinoy Tech Blog (via Captain’s Log) on the fabled 9 million hits-visitors-pixels claim.

My Arab News column for this week is The Tragedy of Failing to Improve the Country With OFW Remittances.

For another view, which views migration with alarm, read Gail Ilagan: in a commencement speech she recently delivered, she argues that exporting people reflects a warped sense of priorities.

Greg Makabenta reminds us of the concern in some quarters among Filipinos abroad, over the manner in which they might be deprived of the vote. I first advocated the overseas vote in 1997 and continue to think it’s important.

Liu Xiabao on how China hasn’t confronted the horrors of the Cultural Revolution.

David Byrne has an exceedingly interesting entry on the “fair use” of photos of anonymous people.

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8 comments

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  1. anthony viduya

    Gail Ilagan – pessimistic, inferiority complexed, anti-globalist, communist, dictator. What’s the point in staying in the Philippines? Brits leave the U.K. by the millions each year to work in exotic world locations, so why not the Filipinos?

    I’m more inclined to believe in your positive analysis Manuel.

    Went overseas in my 20’s, made a killing and became rich and professional, goes back once a year for vacation, will retire there in my mid to late 30’s. Going overseas never diminished my Filipinoness. It only made me smarter.

  2. cvj

    It looks like our ‘working’ President is into the habit of managing numbers for appearance’s sake. There are many executives like her in the corporate world and i’ve seen the damage such a one dimensional approach can cause the organization and its employees.

  3. oliver mendoza

    If we are just going to be a nation of domestic helpers and caregivers anyway, why bother to educate our children? Why produce management graduates, accountants, engineers and scientists when they can make more money employed as domestics abroad? A domestic helper working in Hongkong makes more money than a lawyer practicing here. And since we are musically gifted as a people, we might as well just teach our children to play the guitar or some instrument so that they could be a performer in some swanky hotel abroad. That way, we get more bang for the buck.

  4. Lynn

    I was outraged when I watched that. Does she not know how fully packed classrooms in public schools are? She was saying that students are in school for half a day, which is ridiculous. I’ve not heard of any schoolday that runs for only a few hours for her to say that.

    Somehow I agree with Oliver. I would also suggest that we should start kids early and pack them off to call center training camps, since the only skills people want to cultivate are excellence in customer service and the ability to speak English well anyway. Hah.

    (rant over)

  5. anthony viduya

    “Why produce management graduates, accountants, engineers and scientists when they can make more money employed as domestics abroad?”

    How being management graduates, accountants, engineers and scientists abroad? Like being a domestic helper or caregiver is the option for OFW’s.

  6. Lynn

    Of course, becoming a domestic helper or a caregiver isn’t the only option for Filipinos going abroad. The sad fact is that a lot of people do tend to turn to caregiving for a fast track towards a life abroad. Even professionals in other field turn to nursing for a shot at going abroad.

    What would be really, really ideal is for the Philippines to KEEP those management graduates, accountants, engineers, and scientists here, where they’re most needed. Except there’s little compensation and not much chance of advancement, so I suppose it’s going to remain a dream.

  7. hvrds

    Why exporting resources (especially human and rude produce As Adam Smith called it)) as a solitary economic strategy always results in keeping countries poor and backward and results in endemic corruption. Saudi Arabia and Chile with small populations nationalized their resource industries to privde add on effects for their national economies. Here in the Philippines is happy with the dollars simply to provide for consumption. (paying for imports and paying debts.

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sachs106
    http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000039&refer=columnist_pesek&sid=aWzOnvKRrAss

  8. trmadol

    I always have terrible trouble with comment-related plugins that require me to put some line in the comment loop; I can never seem to find the right spot. Can anyone tell me where I should put the php line in my comments loop? I haven not modified anything much, and I would be very grateful. Thanks!

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