Why Are There More Lawyers Than Chemists in the Philippines?
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"Who Had Richer Parents, Doctors or Artists?"
Recently, Cielito F. Habito wrote this on the Philippine Inquirer:
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Habito, however, does not make any connection between the above problem and the current predicament of basic education in the Philippines. Instead, the dearth of chemists in the Philippines is blamed on the licensing requirement. Comparing the number of takers alone already shows the gigantic advantage of lawyers over chemists. This means that there are simply more students studying law than students who are studying chemistry.
Inequity in basic education is consequential. If most scientists come from working families and children from these families are not provided quality basic education, then these children will not even reach the required skills and knowledge to succeed in a freshman chemistry course. On the other hand, if resources and effective teachers are concentrated in schools that mainly serve rich children, it should not be surprising to see so many lawyers at the end of the education pipeline. It is indeed reasonable to extrapolate that if inequities in basic education linger, lawyers will become plenty and chemists will become scarce.