On nat’l education summit, CEGP calls for stronger resistance against Duterte’s neoliberal and fascist policies
While students welcome the passage of Republic Act №10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education, they remain aware that this still does not constitute a fundamental change in the prevailing policies afflicting the country’s educational system.
Students, teachers and education advocates discussed the current education system in the country in an education summit at the University of the Philippines-College of Education Theater.
PH educ remains commercialized
“Commercialization and privatization remain as a stark state policy. This is why there are several delays and maneuvers by the Duterte regime to take away the decade-long militant struggle of the youth for a free public education,” said Jose Mari Callueng, national president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines.
Students heavily suffer burdensome fees and annual fee increases, which is worsened by the rising costs of books and going to school due to the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law.
“Incessant tuition and other school fees increases are combined with an increase in prices of basic school necessities. This is a double-whammy to students and their parents,” Callueng said.
K12 breeds cheap and docile labor
Currently, the Duterte regime turns a blind eye to the demand of the Filipino youth to end the K-12 program. The regime is hellbent on producing enclaves ready and export-ready senior high school graduates.
“The K-12 program only guarantees capitalist-educators more profit more private high schools. It also legitimizes contractualization among teachers and creates vicious mechanisms to provide other countries with cheap and docile Filipino laborers,” Callueng said.
Teachers and academic personnel have also been long burdened by low wages, contractualization and high prices of goods and commodities.
Continuing fight for democratic rights
“Student organizations and the campus press have been victims of harassment and intimidation by school administrators and even the Philippine military. In Mindanao, schools of indigenous people are heavily militarized especially under martial law rule,” Callueng said.
“Students are now fervently fighting against Duterte’s tyrannical regime which has legitimized state-sponsored harassment, killings and violence. Duterte cannot appease the anger of the youth over his wars of suppression, big-scale crime and corruption, and continuing subservience to imperialist powers,” the youth leader added.
The Guild vows to resist the neoliberal and fascist policies of the US-Duterte regime to advance the genuine cause of the Filipino people and students.