"When will the cycle stop?"
(Or all after seeing the same old issue
at the University of the East)
Seems that the recent events involving both state and private colleges and universities is all but the same like last year. Especially with the month of February as the month where consultations regarding attempts to increase Tuition and other fees been officiated.
Basing much on section 6.2 of CHED memorandum no.3, the so-called guarantor of people's rights and welfare had "lessened" intervening in regards to education-related issues, while technocrats within State colleges and universities, and private school comprador-educators had afford to increase tuition and other fees, requiring them at first to set consultations with the Faculty, Staff, and Student body in general.
However, with the said memorandum order having a state unoffically "hands off" in regards to education issues both from private and state colleges and universities, it rather provoked most of the concerned studentry and staff anger, knowing that the former had emphasised profit regardless of its alibis to justify increases.
With 539 universities repeatedly increasing Tuition and other fees since last year (as according to the National Union of Students of the Philippines), most had treated consultations as "for show", proceeding the increase in midst of opposition, and even depriving the studentry to voice out grievances concerning the issue with the majority coming from working-class backgrounds.
That somehow for this writer and others concerned that yearly profiteering, regardless of their so-called alibis will always be the main priority of the compradore-educators and technocrats whom negating education as service to the youth and instead using it as part of the market.
"Rage over the East"
In the Compradore-Educator owned University of the East, Tuition and Other Fee Increases are yearly with the administrators having it imposed 5 or 4% . Lately, they had attempted to impose, this time 3.5%, lower than those of last year's increase for the coming semester. The proceedings coming from the yearly increase had been much allocated into its return of investment, while the rest goes to its priorities such as those of school improvements and salaries for faculty members and staff.
However, as for the students of working-class backgrounds, the yearly tuition hikes had been a burden, particularly those of sophomore, junior and senior levels experiencing increase in payment as old students. And regardless of having an increase lower than its last year's imposition they had understood, as well as oppose having yearly tuition increases that adds burden to themselves as well as their families, regardless of its alibi such as promises and picemeal improvements in the campus particularly in Manila.
In fact, this writer had sought piecemeal improvements around the campus such as fresh coat of paint and improved exteriors, as well as a council afford to brag about their projects coming from funds also brought by the hikes. Piecemeal knowing that it had served primarily to appease the studenty and its demands such as wireless fidelity internet services, whiteboards, even fresh coat of paint, anything cosmetic but not enough to improve the well being of the community itself; worse, having the administrators afford to curtail the right of opposing tuition hikes and threatening those who oppose with sanctions such as suspensions or even expulsion.
Lately, a student of the University was been observed and even harassed by the guards for being outspoken against policies including those of proposed Tuition hikes, while campus newspaper DAWN also experienced harassment ranging from budget constraint (so as not to release issues) to guards roaming at the second floor of Engineering bldg. (where the newspaper office been situated). These are made in response to such opposition taken by the studentry with protests during the constultation period, that also somehow put a semblance of freeze in the proposed increase.
But does that semblance of freeze over the proposed increase had also stopped the protests? The authorities had tried to block students from supporting protests and curbing potential opposition to existing and even upcoming "repressive" and "unpopular" student policies such as the failed attempt to impose short hair for males last 2009.
That somehow made those from the LGBT and adventure-loving students also took protest that same year. The administrators had both denied (yet being posted without any mark from the Office of Student Affairs) and justified (citing the idea of "rules to be observed in the private school".)
Well, like during his student days, this writer may had observed repression in the campus other than continuous increase of tuition and other fees. Citing "development" as its primary reason for their profiteering in case of the latter, it had to create piecemeal examples such as what this writeup stated earlier. And in citing much of the university as rather a private school than an institution that caters to academic freedom and progressive instruction, it seems no different from a convent with rules both official and unofficial to be observed, all in pursuit of order so to speak with the administrators, again comprador educators per se, trying to milk the students with the sugar coated promises of student care and development.
When will the cycle stop?
Strange isn't it? But inconviently true for those who are affected, that despite denials, such issues this writer had stated would say that it adds burden no matter how many percent the increase being given such as 5, 4, or 3.5, or 3%. It is still an increase in which sophomores, juniors, or even senior-leven students had to stop schooling and have temporary job for the sake of matriculation.
But is that enough to get content in enduring the yearly increase and repression through some of its policies? Not even the council, who is acting a yes man of the administration can able to defend on behalf of the students its right and welfare other than organizing events during foundation week. The piecemeal improvements can't resolve fully the issue the students regularly speak of, while promises of academic freedom and progressive instruction in a private school aren't been fulfilled as long as convent-like conditions (through its policies) continue to thrive in the campus.
Thus, instead of contenting in enduring the yearly pain, of bleeding everyone dry, it is necessary for the students to oppose no matter the administrators afford to justify, or sugarcoat their intentions of milking students with yearly increases. They may had afford a semblance of improvement over everything but not enough, a mere crumb compared to increasing return of investments enjoyed by these profiteers using education as a just, lucrative form of business.