Our wonderful Philippine University
Saturday, June 26, 1909–WE are hearing a good deal about a Philippine college and a Philippine university these days—too- much, in fact. It gives the impression of trying to make a wonderfully brave showing in order to cover up past deficiencies. It carries the suggestion of “he who excuses accuses,” and the accusation to which the present scurry gives point is that there has been an unpardonable lack of foresight and of preparedness.
Here are young men and women being graduated from the high schools and little or no provision has been made for them to continue their studies and fit themselves for their chosen career in life. Some say that the students who have now graduated from the high schools were led on with the promise that when they completed their high school course the university would be ready for them. Some deny this. But whether the promise was or was not made the obligation exists.
To take a concrete case. Here is a young man graduated from the high school who wants to take a course in law which will qualify him for entrance to the bar. What confronts him? So far as the government is concerned, a stone wall. The door of farther advancement is shut in his face. He is turned adrift like a derelict to shift for himself. With an education only half completed his position, for his purpose, is almost as bad as if he had no education.
In the case mentioned the young man found himself compelled to turn to Santo Tomas University and there suffer the humiliation of being reduced in grade and starting in a class which, had he gone to that institution in the first place, he would have passed two or three years ago—in fact he would have been graduated and ready to take examination for the bar. Do you wonder that the boy’s parents are disgusted and feel indignant at what it is hardly unjust to term bad faith and betrayal on the part of the government? And this case is not the only one.
The moral effect of such a condition is bad. Seeing and hearing of such cases the parents are saying to themselves they would better fight shy of the public schools and send their children to private institutions.
There is also a political effect even more serious. We have been looking to the public schools as the chief instrument in fitting the rising generation for the system of government we are here trying to establish. We are by so much defeating our purpose, however, when we abandon the schools’ graduates and force them into institutions where other doctrines are taught and other principles inculcated—doctrines and principles that tend to destroy what we are attempting to build. Such abandonment is not only shameful but to the extent to which it prevails, suicidal.
In reply we fancy we hear some one rise to remark that the Philippine university has been established. Some may dignify the present hybrid trinity of agriculture, veterinary science, and medicine with such a name but one might as well call a foundry, a sawmill, and the deep blue sea a battleship.
It is high time for the board of regents and our legislature or whoever is responsible to wake up and remedy this situation and give us a university which will be a university and not a name with dislocated pedagogical attachments called (save the mark) colleges!
De mortuis nil nisi bonum
AND it is with a feeling of profound reluctance and poignant regret that we must again lift our voice in protest over the recumbent form of our dearly beloved municipal board. It is in the matter of “the submerged tenth” down there in Tondo and Trozo. The rainy season is coming on and so are those inundations. And once again the poor and lowly must gird up their loins and wade through seas of mud and sloughs of despond in order to reach their humble dwelling places.
About a year ago the street railway company raised its track down there on Calle Azcarraga. Prior to that the thoroughfare was on about the same level as the adjacent streets and absorbed its share of the rainfall. But now it acts as a watershed and, while very convenient for the street railway company, it is very inconvenient for the tributary streets and their inhabitants, throwing so much more water their way and sinking them so much deeper in the flood every time we have a heavy rain.
The remedy? Well, our city engineers past and present have declared there is no remedy. Which is just what they did in the matter of the San Lazaro estate. Hundreds of thousands of dollars would be needed they said, to drain it, and they held up their hands in solemn protestation. And then came along a humble private citizen that professed to no knowledge of engineering except the fact that water runs downhill. And then the city engineer woke up and found that it did. And the San Lazaro estate was drained at very little cost.
Will not some unprofessional private citizen shake things up a little down Azcarraga way and unscientifically show our very scientific engineers how to remedy matters? If not, why, let the board furnish the humble inhabitants a few Noah’s arks, cheap.
Possibly that will be done “when the sleeper wakes”. Don’t disturb him!