‘Education system needs overhaul’

Youth group Anakbayan today called on the President Noynoy Aquino and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to immediately implement a moratorium on all school fee hikes next year and rollback tuition rates in light of student protests triggered by the suicide of UP
Manila student Kristel Tejada.

“In the immediate, the government should implement a moratorium on all tuition hikes for next year in both public and private schools. But
more than this, radical measures should be made to reverse the policy of tuition increases and commercialization. The education system needs an overhaul,” said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan.

Crisostomo said that annually, about 300 universities and colleges increase tuition and other fees by around 10-15% despite staunch
opposition from student councils and groups. Tuition and fee hikes again loom as the period of consultations for tuition hikes ended last
February 28.

“The Aquino government has been noynoying on tuition hikes since it took power. It slashed the budget for SUCs and pushed for
commercialization and tuition hikes. Its program for tertiary education is further abandonment. We must make accountable those
responsible for these rotten policies and must reverse these,” he said.

He said that the education crisis is worsening and can no longer be cured with “band-aid” actions.

“It is time we evaluate the roots of this crisis. We need systemic change, radical solutions. We need to reverse the worsening commercial
and elitist character of our SUCs and education system which no longer caters to the needs of the Filipino people, especially the poor,” he

Anakbayan called for the junking of Education Act of 1982 and other education-related laws and policies which resulted to a more
“commercialized, colonial and fascist education system.”

“Education should be a Filipino education, scientific and mass-oriented. We need progressive education which will serve the
people and the nation. Right now, the education system we have is a curse. It is profit and foreign-oriented, it is anti-poor, it is
reactionary and repressive,” he said.

Anakbayan joined today’s “Protestang Bayan” to call for an end to Aquino’s “anti-people policies.”

“The neoliberal, elitist and anti-people policies of that the Aquino administration has consistenly adhered to is to blame for the unabated
tuition and price hikes, privatization of services, lowering of wages  and deepening poverty. Puro pahirap ang mga patakaran ni Aquino sa
kabataan, sa maralita, manggagawa at mamamayan. Dapat siyang managot,” he said.

Reference: Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson, 09328618369