The school year is about to begin so let’s have a quiz. Well, actually, it’s just one multiple choice question, the kind that our teachers used to give us during periodical grading exams (Not sure if that is what they still call it these days.)
So here’s the question, “Next time your kids do not want to go to school, which of the following would you do?”
a) whip their butts or pinch their ears
b) make them work in the fields day in and and out
c) tell them about how you struggled as a kid just so you can go to school
d) tell them about other kids who have to walk four kilometers everyday just so they can go to school.
e) say, “Bahala ka sa buhay mo!”
Although letter A used to be a common practice, it’s no longer a good option because the kid can complain to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Believe you me, I have a cousin whose kid told her, “Isusumbong kita sa DSWD!” And she wasn’t an abusive mother at all. Shocking, no?
You can chose B, but child rights NGOs will accuse you of forcing your kid into child labor.
Letter C is an option but it is very likely that your kid will say, “Ket apay nga i-compare mo ti biyag idi iti biyag itatta?” Or “Why are you comparing life then with life now?” Believe you me again, kids can be sort of cheeky these days so they will definitely say that.
Unless you are an irresponsible parent who would choose letter E, the proper pick would really be letter D where you tell your kids about other kids who have to overcome everyday challenges just so they can go to school. Right? But, of course hehe.
Well, if your kid says something like, “Huh, apay talaga aya nga adda ti kasta itatta nga panawen? (Really are there things like that in this day and age?”) Then you should tell him/her about this ABS-CBN report regarding some of our kailiyans in Naswak and Bulo in Bokod, Benguet who have to walk two to four hours a day to go to school. This means that they will have another 2-4 hour walk to go back home.
Although the report appears to have been packaged to squeeze the tear ducts of viewers so they will say “Kawawang mga batang Igorot”, it doesn’t mean that it is not true. Access to education is really a big problem in the remoter parts of our already remote boondocks. So your kids, if they don’t have to walk 4-8 hours a day, are fortunate and hopefully they will not take their “fortune” for granted.