EXPRESSING dissent over the enforcement of unregulated tuition hikes and “other school fees” in colleges and universities, militant youth groups under the Rise for Education banner on Friday stormed the central office of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to file complaints against exorbitant school dues.
The League of Filipino Students (LFS) denounced the continued deregulation of tuition and imposition of piles of other school fees compelled by the Aquino government’s implementation of the Education Act of 1982 and the CHEd Memorandum Order No. 3, series of 2012 (CMO 3).
According to the group, these state policies exacerbate the imposition of exorbitant school fees in public and private schools on top of skyrocketing tuition fees.
“These other school fees are simply unacceptable. These are fees that by definition should already be part of the tuition we pay in our universities, yet school administrators in state universities and colleges and private universities still employ them to conceal the ever-increasing price of education. The enactment of CMO 3 and Education Act of 1982 legitimized and systematized the commercialization of education,” Charlotte Velasco, the group’s national spokesperson, said in a statement.
Students from the University of the East, University of the Philippines Manila and Diliman, Lyceum of the Philippines Manila, and Polytechnic University of the Philippines also held a series of noise barrage near their respective schools, in protest against other school fees and tuition hikes.
According to the LFS, it is infuriating that “students are embattled with more troubles appearing as long lists of fees and soaring tuition rates while capitalist-educators and government officials continue to line their pockets with money from education.”
The group said elitism is prevalent as the skyrocketing price of education continues to deprive the youth of a decent future as learning becomes largely dependent on the needs of big businesses and advanced countries.
“Using education as an instrument to advance profit-driven interests has long been predetermined by foreign superpowers like the United States, aiming to draw in an unending supply of cheap labor from poor countries like the Philippines,” Velasco said.