Thursday, August 14, 2008
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Service Contracts

Over the course of the "discussions" in the "Iskolar ng Bayan" issue, there was a comment that caught my eye. And according to Twitterland, Jester's interest was likewise piqued by this comment:
Just out of curiosity, aren't graduates of UP subject to service contracts (meaning, they have to serve in the government a certain number of years for every year they are in UP)?

If they are not, then they should be.
The concept of service contracts is not new.

I was offered a full scholarship for the Geodetic Engineering course in the University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus myself. The catch was a service contract, meaning, I had to serve two years in government for every year I availed of the scholarship, as far I can remember. Otherwise, I had to pay back the tuition I availed of in full.

AFAIK, I think admission to the Philippine Science High School is under the condition that the PSHS graduate will pursue a science-related degree in college, if anyone can confirm this. That could be considered a service contract, in a sense.

This service contract is likewise the condition for government employees who wish to study abroad for graduate studies, even if the scholarship came from somewhere else. They had to serve a fixed amount of years for every year they studied. But this is because the study leave it entails is a paid leave, meaning, the government employee studying abroad will still collect his/her salary while he/she is away.

That comment raises a valid issue that can be ripe for debate and discussion:

Should UP (or any other state university) graduates be subject to a service contract as a condition for admission henceforth?

Just to get the ball rolling, let me discuss the pros and cons.

On the one hand, it will ensure that the State will benefit from the education it has subsidized for talented students. Likewise, people will say this is only fair for the State which has allocated resources for selected students. Also (especially in the case of UP), it will "weed out" those who can actually afford to pay their way for a good education, because a government stint (with its low salaries) is supposedly a natural "turn-off" for these people.

On the other hand, and as the discussion over there suggests, graduates of state universities should not be subjected to service contracts because it is the State's obligation to provide all people education in the first place. It's supposed to be free in the first place, so the availment of state-subsidized education should be unconditional.

This issue, I think, is a better issue that could be discussed intelligently and objectively.

So what do you think?

3 Objection(s):

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Den Relojo said...

I think that this post deserves to be tackled intelligently, but it seems that nobody cares to talk about Service Contracts. After all, it is not as "controversial" as what I have on my blog. LOL. :)

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Punzi said...

Yes, Den I have heard so much about you. Thanks for reading my blog.

Anyway, my only advise to you is don't let these people intimidate you. The last time I checked, free speech is still a Constitutionally-guaranteed right. Just be aware of our libel laws.

Keep on blogging no matter what.

best regards

At 2:13 AM, Anonymous Den Relojo said...

NP. Lest, I would sound conceited, I have to say that I'm pretty aware of libel laws. And I'm not easily intimidated, anyway.


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