Teachers laud Free Higher Education law; call for vigilance on implementation, budget allocation | BICOL TODAY

Teachers laud Free Higher Education law; call for vigilance on implementation, budget allocation

By Joey Natividad

CITY OF NAGA. Bicol Region (BicolToday.com) – Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACTon Fridayled teachers, students and parent organizations welcoming President Duterte’s signing into law Thursday the Free Higher Education Law, or Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

The law will implement non-collection of tuition and miscellaneous fees in all State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs).

Bicol students, parents, and teachers also welcomed the free tuition law and call for its full implementation.

Public vigilance needed  

But, ACT has raised public concern for vigilance toward the full implementation of the free tuition law, and to watch over vested-interest economic managers who may attempt to twist its implementation by issuing flawed Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRRs).

The teachers’ partylist group also raises concern that budget allocation for the new law might be jeopardized, rendering the law not fully implementable.

Watch out for Budget Secretary Diokno

“As with the President’s approval of the law, we call on all students, parents and teachers to be watchful and ensure that the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the law will not twist the intent of the law and to continue launching mass actions to call on the Philippine Congress to include the budgetary requirements of the law. We call on President Duterte to instruct his Budget Secretary to include the budget needs of the free higher education in its budget for 2018,” said Benjamin Valbuena, ACT national chairperson.

Duterte lauded

“The law will expand the access of the Filipino youth to higher education. We praise President Duterte for standing against the position of his economic managers. During the House of Representatives’ budget hearing, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno and National Economic and Development Authority Director General Ernesto Pernia that the government cannot afford to finance free education in the tertiary level, that this proposal will only benefit the individual and not the country and is detrimental to private colleges and universities. It seems that these two economic managers are not working for the government, they are more of a spokesperson for the private education businessmen,” said Valbuena.

Higher education indispensable, transformational

“Investing in the higher education of our youth benefits not only the individual but the entire country. Higher education has an indispensable role to play in gathering and transmitting the collective resources of human capability, human reasoning and human purposefulness to create a humane and prosperous society. Higher education must align itself with the transformative potential within society. It must define itself not as reproductive, but as transformational – not simply reworking existing conditions, but challenging and remaking them. Higher education must bring back to the public the goal of pursuing and defining what public good is,” saidCongress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy in UP(CONTEND-UP) in their statement.

Free higher education law, pro-poor

“Based from the data submitted by the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) to the Senate Committee on Education, 77% of the students in the SUCs are from the families of minimum-wage earners and below. This data shows that majority of the students are struggling daily to support expenses needed in their studies and that imposition/collection of fees (tuition and miscellaneous) may further erode their hope to finish college education. Many of these students tend to be only part time student as he/she should work to help his/her family to finance his/her studies. We want to help our students focus on their studies so they can develop fully their potentials and achieve holistic development and the legislation of the Free Higher Education Act will help us towards this end. As educators, this is our goal for our students,” added Mr. Valbuena. [BicolToday.com]

Posted by on August 6, 2017. Filed under Headlines,Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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