THE Kabataan party-list and the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) on Wednesday called on the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to reject all applications for tuition hikes for academic year 2016-2017, saying the cost of education has gone beyond the reach of many Filipino families.
The commission is expected to release the list of schools with approved tuition hike proposals this week. About 400 schools filed petitions to increase their fees for the coming academic year.
Earlier, CHED-Region 7 said that it has endorsed the application for tuition increase in 22 private universities and colleges in Central Visayas, with an average increase of five percent. Meanwhile, CHED Region 6 also announced that it has approved tuition hike proposals in eight schools in Western Visayas.
“The Filipino youth are again demanding that CHED do everything in its power to stop tuition hikes. For years, this commission has served as a mere stamp pad for tuition hikes, resulting in the current situation where tuition in most higher education institutions is vastly unaffordable,” incoming Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago said.
A study released by Kabataan party-list in December last year showed that tuition rates and profits of private universities have almost doubled under the term of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
“In fact we have schools like the Far Eastern University and the University of the East that are included in the Top 1,000 corporations in 2015,” Elago said.
“If and when CHED approves this new wave of tuition hikes, it is not unlikely that more students will be forced to stop schooling due to financial constraints,” she added.
With the rising cost of education, government figures reveal that for every 100 students who enter Grade 1, only 66 finish Grade 6, while only 43 will be able to finish high school. Of this number, only 23 will be able to continue studying at the tertiary level and only 14 will graduate.
Elago also reiterated their call for incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to order a tuition hike moratorium upon assuming office.
“We challenge President Duterte to issue an executive order that will, in the short term, effectively and swiftly impose a tuition increase moratorium for the incoming school year. Ordering a blanket tuition moratorium is the least the government could do to help ease the burden of students and their parents. It is doable, it is possible,” Elago said.