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In June the new academic year will start here in the Philippines. The Department of Education will also begin to implement the new ‘K to 12’ curriculum, will extend basic primary-secondary program by two years. In the Philippines education is seen as a vital key to improving one’s lot and that of one’s family in life. Parents will make great sacrifices, even to the extent of working for years overseas away from their families, so that their children will get a good education.
People in other countries too see a good education as vital but opportunities and facilities can vary greatly. This issue carries two articles on education in countries where the Columban connection goes back to the 1930s. One, Remote Education, is about the Kachin State in northern Myanmar (Burma) where poverty and the lack of facilities are huge realities. The other, City stops for exam day, is set in the Republic of Korea where education is available for all – up to the end of second level. But an examination taken on one day determines who can go to university and who can’t. Only half of the more than 500,000 or so taking the exam will succeed.