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Catholic Education in the Philippines Has Created a Nation of Science Underachievers

he primary purpose of Catholic schools in the Philippines is not really to educate but to indoctrinate. The reason they exist is to insure that the power and influence the Church wields is carried forward onto succeeding generations. That is the raison d'être for every school, college and university run by Catholic clergy all across the country.

Thus the Roman Catholic Church is doing very well in this Southeast Asian country. Elsewhere, the church might be rocked by scandals or find it difficult to replenish its ranks, but not so in the Philippines. With an exploding population, and an almost rabid form of Catholicism, the country is fertile ground for the recruitment of new members of the clergy who are then “exported” to all corners of the globe. This ideal situation the Catholic Church finds itself in did not occur by happenstance. It has taken almost half a millennium of careful crafting. And Catholic schools play a central role in making the plan work.

It started centuries ago with the creation of Catholic elementary schools for the middle and upper classes of Philippine society—young boys and girls who would one day hold positions of power and authority. Starting from the tender ages of five or six, these children are indoctrinated not only with the tenets of the Catholic faith, but with behavior and traits that the Church deems beneficial to its continued survival. These young Filipino boys and girls learn to be timid and compliant; they are taught never to question the authority of the Church; they are instructed to treat with disdain anything that undermines Church teachings; They are told that no matter the evil they do, as long as they remain loyal to the Church and ask for forgiveness, they will be forgiven; and they are made to understand from very early on that their existence on this earth is nothing but a brief, almost insignificant prelude to an afterlife that will last for all eternity.

During the Spanish colonial period such indoctrination made it possible for just a "handful" of Spaniards to control—oftentimes oppressively—an entire population. And today, the Catholic Church continues what the crafty Spanish friars started nearly half a millennia ago.

One of the most egregious consequences of Catholic education in the Philippines has been the de-emphasis of science education among Filipinos. Many Filipinos would rather pray for a miracle than work at finding a solution to a problem. And while some would argue that Catholic run colleges and universities have science departments, the truth is that, those departments exist simply to obfuscate the fact that science is actually systematically deemphasized in those institutions. And the proof is in the pudding. Where are the Filipino Nobel laureates? Where are the scientific papers authored by Filipino scientists? Where are the inventions created by brilliant Filipino minds? And where is all that scientific research that should be going on in these Catholic institutions of higher learning?

Are there Filipinos with great scientific minds? Of course there are! And there would be a lot more of them if the Government steps in and corrects the mis-education that the Catholic Church in the Philippines has been promoting all these centuries. But will that ever happen? Probably not because most positions in government, from the president of the country on down, are held by graduates of Catholic schools. So, touché Catholic Church. Congratulations, you have stacked the deck in your favor. You win! But who loses? If you happen to be in the Philippines, just look around you at the third-world country it has become. Then decide who the real losers are. Published 11/28/2013


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