Ateneo valedictorian apologizes for ‘hasty generalization’ about Polangui’s educational system

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Hyancenth Bedaña, valedictorian of the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) batch 2019, has apologized for her “hasty generalization” about Polangui’s educational system.

Inquirer published an essay written by Bendaña, a native of Polangui, which did not sit well to Polangueños, including Albay Rep. Joey Salceda.

In that essay, Bendaña said llher family moved in the “small town” of Polangui where the “most expensive private school was one of the worst in the region.”

She also claimed that Polangui had a “few of the worst” public schools and most high school students “couldn’t read or write properly and could barely do complex math.”

“I would like to take this time to apologize. I understand why many of you were hurt by this: my parents, too were raised and educated in Polangui–I do not think they are lacking in any way, and I would not wish for others to think that,” said Bedaña.

She said that the portion was written from the “memory of a 12-year-old child, and made hasty generalizations based on unreliable memories from more than 8 years ago.”

“I am deeply sorry for the trouble and pain the statement has caused,” she said.

Bendaña said that she spoke to severla people from Polangui over the past few days and noted that Polangui’s leading public schools are also among the leading public schools in the region.

“I also learned, however, that there is much work left to be done, not only in Polangui, but in the education system in the country. Access to quality education is not only the problem; schools too have limited access to the resources they need to excel. Work too needs to be done to reward fairly the hard work of our teachers,” said Bendaña.

“While the Department of Education has made unprecedented investments in education, our student population too is growing, and the demands of a modernizing economy require much more than the skills we have been accustomed to learning,” she added.

The Ateneo valedictorian said that she’s for the opportunity to reexamine the topic deeper and correct wrongly-held opinions.

“Polangui has continued to improve from the time I was away from home. I hope Polangui will continue to work to improve what needs to be improved, and I hope I could be, in some small part, helpful in these efforts.