Students slam 300% tuition hike-A A +A
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
VARIOUS militant groups circulated a petition to stop the implementation of the 300 percent tuition increase in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and the K+12 educational system.
The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP)–Baguio and Benguet Chapter, College Editors Guild of the Philippines–Cordillera, Anakbayan–Cordillera, Kabataan party-list, Progressive Igorots for Social Action, and the Katribu Youth are now disseminating the petition in the different provinces of Benguet region. They also circulate the petition through social media.
“While the budget for public tertiary education is continually undermined, the dire budget shortage experienced by the basic education sector and the Department of Education has again been overlooked in this year’s budget. The 238.8 billion pesos allocated for basic education is far from six percent GDP allocation recommended by the United Nations. The allocation is not even an exercise of political will, but an automatic increase mandated by law. This will not even address the chronic problem on the shortages in books, chairs, rooms and teachers,” read the petition.
“In addition to this burden, your administration even proposed to add two years to basic education. Parents are now concern where to get the additional budget for their children’s schooling, while the teachers are coping to adjust on this new scheme while using minimal and outdated facilities. We have seen that the haphazard addition of the Universal Kindergarten level without addressing the perennial shortages of basic education have resulted to five year old kids traumatized by the lack of facilities to accommodate their first touch with schooling,” the petition added.
“However, instead of addressing these perennial problems in CAR (Cordillera Autonomous Region) and other regions in the country, the Philippine Government added burden to the families in the Cordillera with the 300 percent increase in tuition fee. We will not be surprised if there will be a low turnout of enrollees for the coming School Year,” the petition read.
Cielo Marie Bayson of the NUSP–Baguio and Benguet said the signing of the petition in the region is in progress. She further said they will submit the petition to the office of the President, House of Representatives and the Congress for appropriate action.
Bayson said the 300 percent tuition increase in the SUCs accompanied with the implementation of the K+12 will result to more drop–outs in the different schools. She cited Apayao which has the highest out–of–school youth wherein she said the number may increase during these K+12 and 300 percent tuition increase.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 21, 2012.