As long as the chief executive keeps Noynoying on pressing issues of his countrymen, he will approve revamps that are unnecessary and anti-people. He should be listening to the loudest cry of the populace, and study the current situation of the nation he should be serving but he is not.
While President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III boasts about upgrading the education curriculum “to be globally competitive”, the youth, students, parents and teachers says otherwise. The youth sector stands firm that the K-to-12 is NOT the solution in the current educational situation in the Philippines.
The US-Aquino2 regime flourishes a systemic way of making the Filipino people accept the remake of a commercialized, colonialized and fascist characteristic of education in the country. In line with this, the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (Ched) just let the sky-rocketing increase of tuition and other fees both in public and private educational institutions.
Misallocation is Mis-education
According to the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Article XIV Section 1 “The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.” On the contrary, the 2012 national budget prioritizes debt servicing P738.6 billion while the education sector got only P238.8 billion or 2.1% of the GNP for the current year, way less than the suggested 6% of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
The Philippine education system’s core problem is that it receives very low budget which is insufficient to provide the needs of its supposed scholars. IBON Foundation data shows that the education sector is lacking 95,600,000 textbooks, around 13.23 million school chairs, 150,000 water and sanitation facilities, 104,000 teachers and 152,569 classrooms to accommodate the youths and provide quality education.
In the current state of education in the Philippines- poor facilities, massive brain drain and collection of fees that increases on a yearly basis, only 1.4% of the students who enter Grade 1 can finish college, and only the half of which will be absorbed by the labor force. According to a study of Kabataan Partylist, with the statistics of 10.9% unemployment and 19.4% underemployment, the youth, aging from 15 to 24 is more than half of the unemployed labor force, with forty percent of unemployed youth possessing college degrees.
More fees, less studes
While the President is Noynoying– lax on the issues that the toiling masses experience under his regime, just this enrolment for Academic Year 2012-2013, schools welcomed students with an average of 10% tuition fee and other fees increase. Ched admitted that it has no power to prohibit Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from tuition fee hike- in fact; it has not disapproved any application for tuition and other fees increase, while DepEd permitted State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) to do so as well.
The University of the Philippines schemed a tuition hike by masking it as a new process of application in the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program. This will increase the tuition fee of the university’s Bracket B (default bracket) students from P1000-P1500 in A Campuses- Diliman, Manila, and Los Baños and P600 to P1000 for B Campuses- Baguio, Pampanga, Visayas, and Mindanao. This was already proposed last year but was hindered by student protests; increase will surely hit the dropout rate and non-enrolment in the premiere state university in the country.
Another glaring example is the Polytechnic University of the Philippines where students paid for a whooping P500 increase for miscellaneous fee, which is illegal. This increase took place when the Student Regent’s term just ended therefore. The said increase was not disseminated among students, no consultation was called and no announcement was made before the enrollment.
This administration passes on its responsibility on its people who pay taxes and collaborates with the private institutions, commonly called as public private partnership or PPP, which make business from education instead of providing quality education. We have observed the rise of market-driven colleges in the last decade- an example of the boom-and-bust economy capitalizing on the students.
Making it more impossible
The K to 12, as the said flagship program of the US-Aquino2 regime on education, will not solve the main problems in the education system. This program’s largest flaw – desperately trying to make in-school students ‘competitive’ in various fields without looking on ways on how to encourage and give the out-of-school population the opportunity to study.
Amidst yearly hike on basic commodities, K to 12 will serve as an added burden to the Filipino families, especially to the youth sector and will result to a higher drop-out rate as it is designed in the elite manner that draws the lines of those who can and cannot afford.
Declared as a basic right of every Filipino, education will now be a sumptuous privilege for those who can afford a longer stay in the academe, it will not serve as a tool to enhance skills and provide knowledge to the youth. This step of the US-Aquino2 regime on overhauling the current curriculum will not ensure a greener pasture for its graduates, but will just produce semi-skilled workers to join the labor force.
This step of the administration institutionalizes the commercialization of education making it acceptable as if it was for the betterment of the people, but is a masked tool for the bourgeoisie to make more profit out of private educational institutions, and to swipe the need for the government to provide ample budget to provide its people basic quality education.
We, from the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, are calling all youths to join the campaign and claim our right to education. Uphold academic freedom and promote a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented education in the Philippines.
Fight for higher subsidy in the education sector!
No to commercialization of education!
No to K-to-12 of the US-Aquino2 regime!
From CEGP National