Free education for all SUCs
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We, student organizations, individuals from State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and sectors, strongly reject the Commission on Higher Education-Department of Budget and Management Joint Memorandum Circular 2017-01 (JMC 2017-01).
The Php8.3B allocated to cover the free tuition for SY 2017-2018 is a concrete product of our staunch assertion of our right to free education. We thus claim this as an initial victory of our fight against a commercialized education system, an initial step towards free education for all. However, the CHED-DBM tag-team plans to douse this positive development with the passage of JMC 2017-01.
Under the pretense of equity and “pro-poor” rhetorics, the JMC 2017-01 aims to subject the release of the funds to “prioritization” and “socialization” similar to UP’s Socialized Tuition Scheme (STS). Years of STS implementation in UP resulted to the significant decrease of underprivileged enrollees, in stark contrast to its supposed goal to make education accessible to the poor.
We see no reason in installing such prioritization and selection mechanisms given that the allocated amount is more than enough to cover the tuition of ALL existing SUC students, with enough room for new enrollees. According to data from the DBM itself, the projected collection for tuition fee of all SUCs for 2017 amounts to only Php7.79B.
We thus refuse to toe the divisive line of the CHED-DBM clique that seeks to pit underprivileged and “academically able” students against everyone else in a scramble for free tuition. Instead, we call on each and every student to stand with us in our fight for free tuition for all and our right to free and quality education. If we wish to genuinely make education accessible to the poor, we must make it free. Putting a price tag on education is effectively barring the poor of our right to quality education.
Both JMC 2017-01 and STS are instruments that seek to maintain the commercialized nature of our educational system. It is now our duty to expose and junk these policies while at the same time call for the distribution of free tuition to every SUC student, regardless of socio-economic and intellectual stature.
Our fight for free tuition is not the culmination of our fight for free education. Rather, we must use this as a springboard to elevate and strengthen our fight for quality free education. We thus commit to continue the fight for free tuition beyond 2018, the abolishment of miscellaneous and other school fees as well as call for junking all anti-student education policies.
Junk CHED-DBM Memo Circular 2017-01!
Free tuition for all now!
Assert our right to free and quality education!
Oppose any form of socialized tuition scheme and other school fees increase!
Fight for our right to free education!
Read our discussion paper on “SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND FREE EDUCATION IN STATE UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES (SUCS).” here: http://youth.agham.org/campaign/free-education/
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