Education Stakeholders Push Free Higher Education

Manila Bulletin, June 5, 2018 | Go to article overview

Education Stakeholders Push Free Higher Education


By Merlina Malipot

As the new school year opens, education stakeholders urged the government to "act swiftly and decisively" on certain issues involving the education sector.

In a "Manifesto of Unity for Education," Filipino youth, students, parents, faculty, academic, and non-academic personnel from various schools, colleges, universities, and communities strongly demanded the Duterte administration--along with all the relevant branches of government -- to address the issues that concern the country's education system.

In the said manifesto signed by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), ACT Partylist, League of Filipino Students (LFS), National Union of Students of the Philippine (NUS) and other youth groups, they call on the administration to fully implement free education without delays and preconditions; allocate higher state subsidy to public tertiary education; and "assess and stop" the implementation of the K to 12 program.

In particular, the groups urged the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to ensure the Free Higher Education law should be fully implemented without collection of fees, no preconditions and without delays.

"On top of the already burdensome tuition, the rampant collection of redundant, exorbitant and dubious 'other school fees' (OSFs) represent a heavy woe to students," the manifesto stated. "Free education means not a single peso should be collected from students," they added. Thus, a "no collection policy" of tuition and all other school fees "must be in place" however, they noted that "obtaining funds from students in support of campus press and representation through their duly-elected councils must continue."

The manifesto also hit CHED's announcement of the "Return Service System" embedded in the implementing rules and regulations of the Free High Education law. …

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