Wednesday, November 24, 2010



On the first opening day of the second semester, many students from both public and private schools were gathered in Mendiola, venting grievances against two problems that, was and is, perennial in regards to the status of education in the Philippines.

These problems, in regards to higher education are often discussed in study circles, that in fact concludes that they are the "both sides" of the same coin, namely: Tuition and Other Fee Increases (TOFI) and the Budget Cuts on State Higher Education Subsidies. These hell of a kind actions are laid and approved by the system, all though the Commission on Higher Education, as well as the universities, education institutions whom used to do so perennially for the goddamn sake of profits whilst telling to the entire studentry that they will use the entire funds for improvement.

But then, their acts, motivated much by greed while negligent in student's welfare, all except for "cosmetic" improvement like having a fresh coat of paint are likely to be criticized on both sides, of condemning both these sides of the same coin and fighting for a genuinely nationalist, scientific and mass oriented education in all levels. Imagine, the University of the East, Manila Campus boasted of having the entire campus a wireless fidelity, a computer laboratory with a good internet access yet some of its rooms, especially its computers aren't modern nor improved, even having a slow internet access so to speak; most of the classrooms are still using chalkboards and having old, dilapidated chairs yet having a fresh coat of paint; and lately they increased its tuition fee 10 per cent, but where all the profits going? To the fresh coat of paint? Of cosmetic "infrastructures"? Or to the marketing department whilst a small portion end up in the hands of the faculty, staff and other basic needs?

How about in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa? Despite its good edifice, most of the chairs, tables, and other basic needs are old and dilapidated-that most students vent their rage against the proposed increase by threwing it away from the buildings and setting forth on fire; it shows that how the government became neglected on higher education despite having enough budget, leaving the entire state funded higher education system nothing but a mere edifice of state supported education in the Philippines.

Last time, during the strikes in state universities, the government, being an instrument of the rotten social order opposed the strikes and even justifying the budget cuts as necessary. However, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino, who was at the PUP rally, said that they won't stop protesting the cuts until President Aquino, one of the members of the clique, pays attention to them. If that budget cut stupidity is justified in all state colleges and universities, how come their funds reducing? Imagine: UP's budget will be reduced by P1.39 billion to P5.5 billion in 2011 from P6.9 billion in 2010, while PNU's will be slashed by P92 million to P295.88 million from P387.23 million.

For sure the government, and even the administrators starting to call this kind of proof a lie and create some counterstatements into it, same as in the private schools-whose tuition and other fee increases reduced the number of students like in UE, UST and others.

Speaking of the government, will the right wingers like ANAD et al. create some counterstatements about it? Or just vent some loudmouths calling the entire strikes a work of the devil? A work of the terrorists? Will they create some alternatives or just urge the entire studentry to accept the fact and insist for a Tuition and Other Fee Increase? Oh god, it really shows how TOFI and Budget Cuts are both sides of the same coin-that they themselves tolerate upon it in the name of globalization, commercialization, privatization, or even negligence in societal affairs except buying bullets and guns to kill alleged subversives.

If this kind of tolerance made by the government continues, of increasing tuition and other fees, of budget cuts and neglecting state-supported education, what kind of outcome will be? They didn't notice much that they're in a third world country. Otherwise, many students will follow the footsteps of FQS and Diliman Commune, and the protests in Dublin, London and in Athens. I hope these sides ought to be destroyed-in the name of the people, of the studentry, of this nation.