(Emended) Yesterday, GRP President Duterte signed Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (free tuition law) which is set to be implemented next school year. The reactionaries heap praises on Duterte for signing this law which promises to ease the financial burden on students in around 114 state colleges, universities and technical institutions.
But it is the student and youth movement which deserve far more credit for having long fought for militantly the right to free public education. The Party, the Kabataang Makabayan and the National Democratic Front have espoused such a demand in their programs.
While the students and youth groups welcome this gain, they are also keenly aware that this law is a mere palliative which does not constitute a fundamental change in the ruling state’s prevailing policies on education. There are far bigger and more fundamental issues besetting the educational system.
Commercialization and privatization remain state policy. Close to 60% of tertiary-level undergraduate students are enrolled in profit-oriented private tertiary institutions. They suffer burdensome fees, annual fee increases, prohibitive costs of books and high costs of going to school. Large amounts of so-called “government financial assistance” are alloted to ensure the profits of private school owners.
There is no reversal to the neoliberal policy of cutting social spending, including subsidies for education. In fact, right after Duterte signed the law, economic managers have already declared that “there should be no expansion in the student population” in the SUCs. In all likelihood, a myriad burdensome policies will accompany the implementation of the free tuition law. Over the past decades, malpriorities, limited allocations and budget cuts have made a mockery of the so-called free elementary and secondary education which has left millions of school children without teachers and facilities.
The Duterte regime is deaf to the clamor to end the K-12 program which is widely regarded as an additional burden on parents and students. Duterte is bent on implementing the K-12 thrust of producing enclaves-ready and export-ready 18-year old senior high school graduates. Tertiary education as well as higher ...
Ang halos 100-araw nang pagkubkob ng rehimeng US-Duterte sa Marawi City ay isa nang ganap na digmang pagsupil sa iba’t ibang mga grupong Moro na nagpasyang ipagpatuloy ang armadong pakikibaka para ipagtanggol at isulong ang hangarin ng mamamayang Moro para sa karapatan sa pagpapasya-sa-sarili. Ang walang pakundangang pambobomba at panganganyon …
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