The Manila Science High School Faculty and Employees Club has come out with a letter to Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim expressing strong opposition to plans to rename the country’s pilot science high school, even as they request that he verify and clarify the said plan.
“It has come to our knowledge that plans are underway to rename Manila Science High School to President Corazon C. Aquino Science High School as per news article written by Pat C. Santos in The Daily Tribune dated August 11, 2009. The alleged plan was practically validated, to the surprise and dismay of the entire Manila Science High School community, when two DepEd-Manila officials, Asst. Superintendent Mauro de Gulan and retired Asst. Superintendent Isabelita Santos, met with Mrs. Flora A. Valdez, our school head, on August 19 to discuss the matter,” said the group.
The group added that “while we greatly honor former President Corazon C. Aquino for her countless and invaluable contributions to our nation, we still deem it fitting and prudent to also respect Manila Science High School as an established institution that has been known worldwide as the pilot science high school in the Philippines. Hence, MaSci must also be regarded as an institution of great historical and national significance for its invaluable contributions in the field of science and technology.”
“Renaming Masci will be a historical blunder. It is, therefore, unfit and distasteful to relegate one to the other. There are many other ways to confer recognition and honor to our beloved former president and we will wholeheartedly support such endeavors,” the letter said.
The letter also laid down the school’s established place in Philippine and city history:
- Former President of the Philippines Ramon Magsaysay was the first to envision a science high school in the Philippines in his 1956 State of the Nation Address where he underscored the great need of stepping up the development of fundamental and applied research in science and technology which had long been neglected.
- The Philippine Congress passed Republic Act 1606 creating the National Science Development Board to work with the Science Foundation of the Philippines in advancing scientific and technological research.
- This was closely followed by RA 2067, known as the Science Act of 1958, which proposed to integrate, coordinate, and intensify scientific and technological research and development to foster invention.
- In conjunction, the Department of Education implemented RA 1606 by issuing Department Orders 1 and 5, series of 1958 for the launching of science talent research.
- November 25, 1959 marked the evolution of the first pilot science high school in Manila. This nucleus of a science high school had its beginning in a single-story building in Intramuros.
- On October 1, 1963, Manila Science High School was born by virtue of Municipal Resolution 426, signed by Mayor Antonio J. Villegas, with its principal Augusto Alzona, the “Father of Manila Science High School.”
The letter also pointed out that the plan to rename MSHS is “undemocratic and arbitrary in that parties concerned, i.e. the supposed stakeholders of the school, have not even been consulted.”
I agree 100 percent to this letter and I am sure my batchmates in the Class of 1993 also share the same sentiment.