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Tuition moratorium now! Aquino, CHED should stop tuition hikes in PH

Dear CHED and President Aquino,

The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and President Noynoy Aquino should immediately impose a moratorium on tuition and other fee increases nationwide.

Amidst record high poverty and unemployment rates, a freeze in tuition and school fee increases should be implemented to stop drop-outs and to relieve to parents and students of additional burden.

The Aquino government should be more sensitive to the plight of students and their parents. Many families are no longer able to send their children to school due to skyrocketing expenses. Drop out rates are on the rise.

CHED earlier announced that 267 schools are set to increase tuition by around 10%. The actual number could be much higher as CHED does not include in their list miscellaneous and other fees.

 

Even public universities such as University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Mindanao State University, which are supposed to provide accessible education are increasing school fees. This situation, which is a direct effect of the cuts in the budget for state universities and colleges is deplorable. At the very least, the gov’t can stop its schools from hiking fees.

Aquino and CHEd’s noynoying regarding tuition hikes has been detrimental to students and parents. The government is abandoning its responsibility to provide quality and accessible education. As it is, 80% of college students do not graduate mainly due to high costs.

The school fee hikes that the CHED has approved recently are unjust and unwarranted. Many schools are profiteering and imposing exorbitant and dubious fees.

In fact, the top private schools in the country are raking hundreds of millions in superprofits. The biggest schools are consistently among the top 1000 corporations.

CHED’s claim that the fee hikes underwent proper consultation processes is simply false. To begin with, their tuition hike memo is flawed and provides for automatic approval in favor of school owners.

Student leaders have filed their opposition to the tuition hikes in these so-called consultations but have been approved anyway by CHED. In a Congress hearing, CHED admitted that it has never rejected any proposal to hike tuition. The CHED approves proposals for tuition and other fee hikes regardless of their nature. In this sense, they are in cahoots with capitalist-educators in robbing students.

We must remind the government of its constitutional mandate to provide quality and accessible education in all levels.

Maybe we need to tell President Aquino that not everyone is born a haciendero. Majority of the people are poor and hungry and will simply not be able to afford a new round of tuition hikes.

Aquino should immediately order a moratorium on all tuition increases this year; regulate tuition rates and scrap dubious fees; and increase significantly the budget for SUCs and education.

Ultimately, the government should remember that education is a right, not a privilege of the rich.

Sadly, it seems the Aquino gov’t does not adhere to the same principle.

Sa tuwid na daan, mukhang walang preno ang pagtaas ng tuition.

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