The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and administrators of State Universities and Colleges should immediately implement free tuition in the SUCs in light of the Senate’s allotment of at least P8.3 billion to provide free tuition for all SUC students.
“The move to provide free tuition for SUCs is long overdue. Students, parents, teachers and administrators had been protesting during the past decade against the incessant tuition and other fee hikes, commercialization, budget cuts, privatization and general neo-liberal attack on public higher education and the country’s education system in general,” Vencer Crisostomo, the national chairman of the left-leaning youth group Anakbayan, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The situation has worsened to the point of students committing suicide because failure to pay tuition has become common,” Crisostomo added.
He said the government should make sure that the move takes effect next month, in time for enrolment for some schools affected by a calendar shift and scheduled examinations for most.
President Rodrigo Duterte and CHED “should immediately order all schools to stop collecting fees from all students. Even pending such an order, however, the SUCs, through their board of administrators can and must stop tuition collection,” Crisostomo added.
He noted that the policies in state schools meant to collect ever increasing tuition and other fees should immediately be lifted or removed.