Good deeds in the midst of COVID-19 crisis
The role of the private sector in times of crisis cannot be overemphasized. Companies, big or small, non-government organizations, and private individuals have come forward to lend their helping hands to the less privileged.
This does not happen everyday.
Not a few us wail against corporate greed. Some corporations seek profit for profit’s sake. Of course, profit is not evil, for how can a corporation or business continue to exist without profit? But it is a different story when a corporation refuses to ponder on social responsibilities.
That is why many praise the move of Ateneo de Manila University to refund its students — P20,000, representing 20 percent of the tuition, and 80 percent of the laboratory fees.
It may cost a lot of money on the part of the school. I am hoping that many schools will follow suit. It is no secret many families that go into the business of establishing schools have become rich. It must be a protitable business. The refund may not be of so much financial meaning to some Ateneo students, many of whom come from wealthy families, if I am not mistaken. But the impact of the message that the school has put forward cannot go unnoticed. It is simply touching.
Similar refund coming from schools whose students come from the poor sector, the middle class, and perhaps a few rich will prove to be overwhelmingly impressive. We know what many parents give up just to have their children sent to school. We know how many sleepless nights working students, like those working in food chains, experience, hoping that education will pluck them out of poverty.
There is is no better time than today for schools to prove the core values or virtues, usually found in their respective logos, that they preach: Truth, love, honor, devotion, service to humanity, charity, etcetera. These are not mere words. These are ideals they are supposed to stand for. They should breathe life to these, at least for now.
One reason many cannot enter college is the cost of studying college. Tuition and other fees are simply very high. Ironically, except for few schools, teachers’ salary in private school pales in comparison to the salary in public school.
In this time of crisis, more than any other time, teachers also deserve to experience the care long deprived of them.
Next to home, the school is responsible in shaping one’s minds and heart. It is also a leader. And no leadership is more effective than leadership by example. Ateneo has set the example as to what to do in in the face of crisis. The university may have its own weaknesses but what it has done shows its strength.
I wish the rest would follow suit. It is not a demand. It is a wish. /dbs
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