Friday, May 21, 2010

Anger against the "Fee"

Anger against the "Fee"
by Lualhati Madlangawa Guerrero

Last night, I watched a news regarding the increase of fees in most educational institutions, including state colleges and universities all over the country.

This situation also became a subject of ceaseless criticism amongst the students, teachers as well as parents who faced every shortage and increase of prices this summer.

But then,
Despite the criticism, these institutions, especially private ones, stubbornly defending their right and even saying that quality education comes from increased fees. True, for it promotes development but, not all things are seriously being undertaken by every institution since most owners, as what we may ought to expect are known profiteers with large stocks, properties to keep or bureaucrats who benefit from privileges from the sweat of our labours.

And as these institutions continue to do so, they really fond of increasing fees to gain profit and less on development. Imagine, 70% of the income supposedly for development end up in the coffers of the few? Leaving rooms using old chalkboard and dilapidated wooden chairs? And in case of "change" only for cosmetic purposes like visiting accreditors and the like?

Same as the state colleges and universities, who ought to be given greater or even higher state subsidy according to the law end up joining in the caravan of scholastic decrease and financial increase? As they undergo liberalization, commercialization and the like, lessens quality education as they say into a cosmetic matter, and making things worse-ordering people to pay "fees" as what they said so, boasting of development. By the way, where are all the taxes going since parents, students paying fees in the state educational institution? I doubt if some end up as a subsidy, worse? End up in the coffers of the few, paying debts, or in the oppressors of rights as militarization here in the Philippines grew.

And thus, as much as I expect, what kind of education every student acquire in midst of the crisis and yet still paying high fees? Isn't it contradicting that as these institutions increased their population also increase their fees? And in case of SCUs, how come people pay fees also the same people who pay taxes supposedly end up as subsidies for education as prescribed by that goddamned constitution?

They (theoretically) wanted us to be given knowledge, but then they want us to leave ignorant as long as we pay the price, or worse to be ignorant in facing the realities while benefiting the "riches" and defending the rotten system as what these institutions encouraged to the youth not here but also around the world. That paying fees, even exorbitant ones leads to development but in reality may divert to anything else including personal means.

Anyway, the opposition against these attempts kept on growing to counter these people, and their modus operandi of profiteering and not educating students-especially in this third world country like the Philippines.