Those damn student activists! Those damn progressivists!
by Paul Smirnoff
by Paul Smirnoff
Why are we striking instead of studying?
Most students, both state and private, are greatly affected by the "both sides" of the same coin; namely "Tuition and Other Fee Increases" and "Budget Cuts in State Colleges and Universities."
These problems, the student, faculty, staff, and even the parent encountered further burdens despite the apologetic's "justification" of that said proposal. It also intensifies direct anger against the system that tolerates these kinds of acts all in the name of "Commercialization", "Privatization", and "Globalization" of certain institutions... or even the society in general.
Students, with their idealism, tried enough to counter this hell of a kind problem set forth by the system. Studying 24 hours and 7 days a week for a grade of 1.00 up to 2.00 or even working part time as a restaurant crew and call center agent just to pay their tuition and other fees is not enough to lessen this kind of problem as the Philippine economy usually slows down, and due to the system's emphasis in debt servicing and the buying of guns, bullets for its military, how about education? Comparing to Thailand and Malaysia, whose half of its budget goes to schools, universities, the budget laid by the Philippine Government is too little, not enough for improving the entire education system in general!
For sure most people don't know much about this hell of a kind problem, and at the same time the apologetics vent forth their propaganda justifying the said clause made by Aquino, Abad et al. one post even said that "from 240 B 270 B became even today. The only difference is the focus of the Palace on Basic Education (Elementary and High School) rather than the Tertiary." If that's the case then is the government itself affirming that they will do a "Laissez Faire" when it comes to state funded tertiary education? Leaving it away to the administrators?
The protests in Manila and even other parts of the Philippines are greatly assailed by some elements who underestimated student power in the society. According to Tito Sotto, he even called it "Demonstrating against a Ghost" Yet according to Aquino, he spoke of allocation of 23.4 billion pesos to 112 state universities and colleges next year-a 1.7% lower than the 23.8 billion peso budget this year, affirming that he'll reduce SUC's subsidies for the sake of additional government funds!
Funds for what? For debt servicing? Encouraging foreign investors to control every institution? For bullets and guns? Aquino and the rest of his clique remained deaf when it comes to basic problems despite bragging to the rest of the people about bonuses for government employees and the like. And again, the pro-TOFI increase and Budget Cuts would tell that "the government would provide scholarahips for the deserving..."
Scholarships for the deserving? According to Allan Peter Cayetano, he said that "the congressional insertion are for capital outlay and additional scholarship, but the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses of 97 out of 112 SUCs still have cuts. MOOE cuts actually result in Tuition and Other Fee Increases."
The actions made by Aquino, Abad, et al. wanted to step away from the problems of education such as these especially in the tertiary level. They may've spoke much of education, but limiting it to primary and secondary levels that, they themselves failed to handle. The books, the buildings, chairs, even salaries of teachers and personnel, remained as it is although the latter was lately been discussed through by Abad-that they even banner it as one of the breakthroughs in regards to the problems of education.
But how about in private schools? It doesn't mean that the problem in regards to education is limited in state funded ones, even private educational institutions are greatly affected and its students, faculty and personnel resorted to strikes. UE increased its tuition fees every year while the number of enrollees dropped, their propaganda news service would tell that they are "increasing" yet failed to meed the pre-1990 numbers UE used to brag about. The attempts to silence student's struggles even became a problem amongst the students, that even bringing of guitars require permits and if not, not to be used inside regardless of the reason. The paranoia manifested by every administrator intensifies student's, faculty and staff's yearness for salary increase, student's rights and welfare and realization of progressive instruction and academic freedom as what UE's vision and mission statement said so-that the Administrators failed to realize.
Strikes made by the students will still continue to intensify, not just in the Philippines but all over the world. Dublin, London, Paris, Berlin, even Chittagong were being affected by strikes made by the students due to government's attempt to step away from state funded tertiary education in favor of private-minded administrators. Tuition fee increases, Budget Cuts, Fascistic tendencies would intensify massive student resistance against the rotten social order instead of letting themselves imprison in the four corners of the classroom.