Conflict. One of the elements of news. We read articles and watch news programs about warring political factions, protests, demolitions, and even murder cases. Indeed, the phenomenon of clashing forces is a disturbance that has been and will always be documented.
We have seen news pages and current affairs websites laden with stories about the different forms of resistance – students joining actions against cuts in the budget for social services, farmers marching across provinces to call for land distribution, employees who refuse to work due to lack of benefits, among others. Among these forms, one of the most powerful and daring responses would be the strike.
A strike is a marriage of occupation and paralysis. The constituents paralyze all operations vital in sustaining an institution. Students, for instance, walk out of their classes. There is also an element of reclaiming a space, of trying to make it function in a way that the strikers deem appropriate.
It is therefore a necessity to cover the strike as the people’s response against assaults on the right to education, to a home, a decent livelihood, free press, among others. Under this premise, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, the widest and oldest alliance of student publications, established Strike Lead, the information desk of the people’s strike.
Launched in September last year, Strike Lead is running up for the 1 year of its success. Strike Lead has served two functions. First, it served as a venue for organizations to release their media advisories, schedule of activities, analyses, and other materials about the different sectoral issues. Strike Lead, in turn, sent the materials to its own network of media and campus press contacts. It also posted select materials in social networking sites.
Second, it served as the alternative lens on the student strikes against the 2012 budget deliberation and fighting for higher state subsidy. Strike Lead is the primary machinery during the Nation-wide Action SONA 2012 leading the correspondents from the campus press, student organizations, and teachers from different regions.
This August and upcoming September, the consultations for tuition and other fee increases have started in many educational institutions. And even for Budget monitoring for Education. The “skyrocketing cost” of education is an issue of the youth, for education, after all, remains to be a right rather than a privilege for those who can afford.
Education Budget Monitoring
In this light, Strike Lead will also be a center for monitoring budget education for SUCs around the country, “Bantay Budget Monitoring” and even for the tuition fee increase monitoring for the Private schools with reports coming from students. Is 2012 Education Budget enough to sustain the needs of different SUCs? Did the Philippine Government allocates the 6% Education budget suggested by the UNESCO?How much was the increase? Did the increase undergo consultation? Were the students informed? Did the students disapprove of the increase and what actions did they take to register their disapproval?
At a time such as this, arming the youth with the knowledge to take courses of action is most important. The right to information is a constitutional right, and clearly not without reason.
Reports will be coursed through text, email or face-to-face correspondence. If you want to be part of Strike Lead, you can volunteer as a correspondent/photographer/artist for the desk. For inquiries, contact Jian Carlo R. Gomez, CEGP National Strike Lead Officer, at 09262622040