MANILA, August 9 , 2004 (STAR) By Atty. Romeo G. Roxas  -  Although we have already dealt in our past articles with the interrelationship between government, business and the educational sector, we believe we can never overemphasize the importance of the synergy of these three sectors in the development of the nation.

As we often repeat, a country is nothing more than its land and its people. The land can only be developed to its highest and best use and, therefore, to its ultimate development level only where there is a responsible government that governs effectively, a citizenry that is properly trained and educated, and a business sector that is healthy, robust and competitive with its foreign counterpart.

In the pursuit and development of the strategy of development, therefore, a crucial and paramount component is the proper relationship between the government, the business sector and the educational system. If each of these three vital sectors perform their respective designated role to the hilt, then the cycle of economic growth, development and industrialization will continuously spiral towards greater heights.

To begin with, the people can only be employed if they are employable. This means that they should have acquired the requisite knowledge and skills to position them to make a tangible, positive contribution to the country’s efforts at development. In this regard, it is the role and goal of the educational system to properly equip the citizenry with the right knowledge and skills to make them productive.

In this modern age where infrastructure, power, transportation and communication, computer and the like are all part of our daily fare, it is not difficult to conclude that the educational courses that matter, and the practical knowledge one must possess should be in the fields of science, technology, computer and engineering.

The educational thrust, therefore, must be exact and purposeful. The educational system must focus and zero-in on a curriculum that is geared towards the dissemination of information, knowledge and skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and computer programming. We urgently need, then, to re-assess, re-evaluate and, thereafter, revise our school curricula and educational programs to suit and favor these particular fields of learning.

The schools themselves must be properly built and equipped. Quality educational institutions must be evenly distributed all over the country. Classrooms, libraries, books, computers and other teaching aids must be amply provided. The most important component of the educational system, that is the teachers and choir of professors, must themselves, a priori, be meticulously trained and, as importantly, be adequately paid so that they could devote themselves fully and completely to the solemn task of molding the hearts and minds of our children and youth, instead of engaging in small business on the side at school just to make ends meet for themselves and their families.

Another component of the three-some vital partners of development is the government, which itself has a pivotal, if not foremost, role to play in the development process. The government, after all, is the repository of sovereignty and the entity that lays down broad national policies and directions. It is in the distinct position of presenting the blueprint for development and industrialization as well as the national economic agenda – the strategy of development.

The significance of government churning out the right strategy of development can never be overemphasized. This strategy will be the framework, the guide, and the economic bible upon which private businesses will have to gear up and commit their economic resources to invest in. In the case of the Arroyo administration, for example, GMA has laid out her 10-point program of government which already is the cue to the business sector on what areas of priority her presidency will devote itself to.

In every way, however, a key component in the presentation of the strategy of development is the identification of the crucial and vital industries that should be given emphasis and priority. These paramount industries, which shall form the solid and broad base of the industrial foundation, must be given the necessary government incentives for growth and expansion. These include industries involved in building infrastructure such as roads, highways, bridges, ports, airports, schools and hospitals as well as industries for the establishment of utilities such power, water and telecommunications.

Government, for its part, must support the business sector by giving them access to long-term, low-interest loan facilities in order for the business to be able to modernize their plant, equipment and operations, and thereby ensuring their growth, expansion and competitiveness vis-a-vis their foreign counterparts. After all, the success of the Filipino enterprise is the success of the government itself because then more government revenues are collected from the increased tax payments of the prospering Filipino businesses. Businesses would be employing the scientists, engineers, technologists, computers and telecommunications experts and skilled labor produced by the schools. Businesses would be paying more taxes on account of increased economic activities which translates into more government revenues that can be used to provide better governance to the people.

In short, in the overall scheme of team effort, the government prepares the plan and roadmap for development, the educational system trains and produces the apt manpower corresponding to the requirements of the economic master-plan, and the business sector complements the grand design by hiring and employing the trained workforce to manage and run the ramparts of industry. With the success of these three major players, the symbiosis between the government, the educational system and the business sector is complete.

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(Note: We beg the indulgence of our readers who are at times tasked to read a lengthy piece. The purpose of our writings, however, being advocacy and not merely commentary in nature, compels us to dissect a given problem, analyze its causes and effects, and offer studied solutions. The length of the article should be irrelevant to such an approach.)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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