Statement of the Philippine Hierarchy on Vocational Education


1. A serious regard for the needs of the country as well as a sane spirit of patriotism demands that vocational training be given stress in the educational system. For lack of vocational training the Philippines, according to many critics, is fast becoming a nation of lawyers, accountants and typists – and worse still of misfits and vocationally displaced persons. There is need of good Christian educated men and women to take their places in society as workers and trained artisans to discharge the functions which are ordinarily contrasted with those of the white-collared jobs. There is greater need of respect for these occupations in the spirit and example of the Carpenter at Nazareth and the Fisherman at Galilee. The dignity of labor and the dignity of the laborer must be given real meaning.


2. In the welter of opinions and proposals advanced by educators and educational administrators regarding the role of the schools in the complementing of these needs, the principles underlying the purpose of Catholic education are in danger of being overlooked. In order to focus attention to these principles we list the following conditions which must be observed in any system to stress vocational education:

(a) The right of the Catholic school to exist and its freedom to teach are essential to the divine mission of the Catholic Church.

(b) Education is primarily a parental function. This excludes any power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept education either from public teachers only or exclusively according to state prescribed curricula. The role of the state is to foster and support not to supplant the efforts of home and the Church in the task of providing adequate educational facilities. The child, therefore, may not be looked upon as a mere unit of production in the economic life of the state.


3. The task of formulating educational programs to implement the vocational needs of the country is no doubt difficult and will entail much expense and sacrifice, as well as require fundamental goodwill and common sense. Surely, however, educational experts will not be wanting who will be able to provide adequately for these needs and, at the same time, observe the essential safeguards against violations of natural rights and freedoms. We charge especially the Catholic educational administrators to devote serious thought and effort to this matter particularly with regard to the needs of their own localities. We are gratified that a salutary step has been taken in this direction by the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines. Their proposal for vocational guidance as a basis for diversification of education, though wanting in some details, deserves encouragement.


Given on the 31st day of January 1951.


For the Catholic Hierarchy of the Philippines:



Archbishop of Manila

President, Administrative Council




The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines

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Statement of the Philippine Hierarchy on Vocational Education