Anakbayan Cordillera: Free tuition no longer a guarantee

>> Saturday, January 28, 2017


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Anakbayan Cordillera expressed uncertainty on having free tuition in State Universities and Colleges for academic year 2017-2018 following recent pronouncements from President Rodrigo Duterte that some student will be prioritized over the other.
The doubt followed after Duterte tasked the Commission on Higher Education to issue guidelines for implementation of Higher Education Support Fund in prejudice of the poor.
The youth group cited Duterte saying “It is important to underscore that we must still give priority to financially disadvantaged but academically able students.”
“While this statement seems reasonable, it is contrary to the earlier pronouncement that all SUCs students will enjoy free tuition, disregarding their financial status, ” said Luke Bagangan, secretary general of Anakbayan Cordillera.
Bagangan said main reason for increase in higher education budget is to subsidize expected tuition in public universities and colleges.
The allocation for the state universities and colleges is expected to increase by 23.8 billion compared to the 2016 subsidy to a total 58.72 billion in 2017.
“While students all over the country have started celebrating the earlier government promise of free tuition, Duterte seems to have backed-down from this pronouncement”, said Bagangan.
According to the youth leader, it will be unfair for other students if free tuition will only be limited to those classified by the government as financially-disadvantaged but academically able students.
The group claimed this may be used by the government to justify undue fees for students who they claimed as rich.
“Instead of putting the burden to students to prove that they are indeed financially disadvantaged, it would be better if the government will just provide decent higher education subsidy to make it free for all,” said Bagangan.
The group said classifying students of various financial ability as a basis of government support compromise  right to education.
Article 16, Sec. 1 of the Philippine constitution guarantees the protection of the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels by making it accessible to all.

“Many countries are already providing free education to its citizens like Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Germany. Unless the government refuses to follow these examples, this guaranteed right to education is merely empty words written in paper,” added Bagangan.


  © Blogger templates Palm by 2008

Back to TOP  

Web Statistics