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“Give a man a fish and he will live  for a day.Teach a man how to fish and he will live for a lifetime.”

-a Chinese proverb

Migration is an alarming threat our food security. A study of DOA shows  that the migration of rural youth to urban areas has contributed to neglect of agriculture. Farming nowadays,  is viewed as an undesirable profession. It’s like farmers are also an endangered specie. Rural youth migrates to urban areas in the hope to find a greener pasture and only to end up jobless or given a low- skilled, low paid work. There is a need for the government to target rural youths as beneficiaries of livelihood, skills training, entrepreneurship training and other types of non formal education so that they will not just live for a day, as a Chinese proverb said.

Over the past years, the former Philippines president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) administration has produced more scholars in the urban than in rural areas where education, in most cases, is scarce and badly needed.

Launched in 2001. the former president GMA started the PGMA Scholarship program for the urban poor  in Metro Manila and nearby provinces as one of the Government’s anti- poverty thrusts. Recently, the program was extended nationwide with the budget allocation of 1 Billion, producing a total of 96,809 technical and vocational graduates for job ready works specially abroad.

I was once a recipient of the above mentioned PGMA Scholarship.I studied Food and Beverage Service course 100% FREE for only two and a half months( instead of taking it for two years) and with stipend! It is mainly for the out-of-school youth (OSY) but as I observed, my host school and other host school was not really targetting the OSY. In fact, I am not OSY. Some scholars are degree holders, some college students and others are high school graduates. Many of the scholars are the host school’s own students where  some  scholar hops  from one course to another.

On one hand, I was able to use my acquired skill in Food and Beverage Service course in my food business( Pasta house) which started as a practicum for two and a half months in my Entrepreneurial Marketing course. Now that I have graduated from college, my mates and I was able to pursue the business.

I have benefited from the scholarship. However, these program is better addressed to the rural poor as it is everyone’s right to have education. If there’s a group of people that should be prioritized by the government in its program, it must be those who have less in life.

Source list:   NYC, 1998

Reader, 46

Reader, 52

www. op.gov.ph

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