#BalikEskwela2018 protests slam continuing neoliberal policies in PH educ system
MULTI-SECTORAL groups held protests actions at Jose Abad Santos High School in Binondo, Manila, Quezon City High School in Diliman, Quezon City and in Mendiola to slam school opening woes faced by Filipino students and professionals across the country.
In line with #BalikEskwela2018, students condemned the continuing shortage of classrooms, books, and other educational materials along with low wage payments for school teachers and the continuing implementation of the onerous K12 program.
“Currently, huge capitalists school owners and several educational institutions unforgivingly milk super profit from Filipino students through the incessant tuition increase. The victory of the Filipino youth with the passing of RA 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education is sabotaged by the Duterte regime with its continuous maneuvers to heed the demands of capitalists,” said Jose Mari Callueng, national president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines.
Earlier this month, the Department of Education (DepEd) approved the tuition hike of more than 500 schools. This covers at least six regions across the country. Huge profits from the tuition hike would not benefit students and teaching personnel staff nor the quality of facilities and education itself. Only businessmen who heavily salivate from profit will benefit from this deregulation.
“This is a clear manifestation that government institutions like DepEd only serve as a stamp pad to satisfy the demands of the reactionary regime. Recent events have shown the inefficiency of the K12 program, with various corporations opting to not accept K12 graduates due to lack of expertise and knowledge,” he said.
"This is a statement contradicting K12’s supposed goal of producing ‘globally competitive’ Filipino students. Students of the K12 program will aim to work in other countries where they will fill the cheap and docile labor force needed by their respective markets,” he added.
Unwittingly, K12 only serves as a lubricant for the state to produce and deliver cheap labor to serve foreign entities across the globe. This is what they meant by global competitiveness-to compromise the future of our youth and dissuade them to enter college just to feed other nation’s necessity and not ours.
“RA 10931 is another picture of Duterte’s empty braggadocio. Despite its impressive form, in essence, it only legitimizes and institutionalizes arduous standards and qualifications needed to comply by the university and even the students to be covered by the law.”
Although the struggle of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) is recognized in the case of Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs), the challenge is a step higher. Only 78 out of over a hundred LUCs in the country were able to comply program recognition and institutional accreditation required by CHED, and thus will be covered by the free tuition policy this year. Surprisingly, only 2 out of these 78 came from Metro Manila.
The education system is repeatedly marred by profit that is backed by our own government. It is high time for us to amplify our clamor. We encourage the unwavering support of the students and the nation to advance the struggle for a nationalistic, scientific and mass-oriented education.