NAGA CITY, 12June2013 (BicolToday.com) – As college classes resume, youth groups gave President Aquino “F” in his performance report card.
Several youth groups in Metro-Manila took the streets on Monday, marking their frustration over the pitiful state of education in the country and giving President Aquino a “failed” report card, Bicol Today learned on Tuesday.
As classes resume in most colleges and universities in the country on Monday, youth groups led by Kabataan Partylist, National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), League of Filipino Students (LFS), Anakbayan, and other formations marched to Mendiola around 12:00 noon Monday, criticizing the President for failing to address the worsening education crisis.
The groups marched from University of Sto. Tomas in España to Mendiola, displaying what the groups call “the youth’s midterm report card for PNoy” which bear a glaring red “F” mark on all five key areas, including education, social services, human rights, poverty alleviation, and employment.
“Three years into the Aquino presidency, the same problems remain – and even worsened. Millions of families continue to be mired in poverty, while millions of youth greet the school opening outside their campuses, unable to enroll due to financial constraints. Thus the youth tags Aquino ineligible to govern for the remaining years of his term,” said Kabataan Partylist President Terry Ridon, in a statement sent to BicolToday.com.
Ridon also cited Aquino’s failure to address the failing peace negotiations, and the continuing landless status of most farmers in the countryside, even as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program celebrates its 25th year today.
“From students to farmers, Aquino has failed miserably in bringing change that he keeps on harping about. For the youth, Aquino does not deserve three more years in power. Is this a prelude to a call for ouster? I believe so,” Ridon said.
Worsening education crisis
“As another school year begins, millions of students are to return to their schools only to find the same old education problems brought about by years of under-funding for education – shortages in facilities, skyrocketing matriculation, and for students in basic education, additional burden through the full-blown implementation of the K-12 program,” Ridon added.
Meanwhile, student groups also denounced the Commission on Higher Education’s approval of new and higher rates in 354 colleges and universities nationwide.
“We fought the new spate of unjustified fee increases in all branches of the government – the executive through CHED, the legislative branch through filing the Tuition Regulation Bill in the 15th Congress, and the judiciary through the petition we filed two weeks ago that sought for a temporary restraining order for the said increases,” Ridon said.
“Yet we have seen that such legal actions can only do so much. The SC even brushed aside our petition due to a mere technicality, while Congress failed to pass the Tuition Regulation Bill. While we plan to continue our legal battle in both the high court and Congress, the youth affirms today that we cannot solely rely purely on the legal front,” he explained.
“We need to rise up to the challenge, and march to the parliamentary of the streets united and strongly condemning the continued transmogrification of education into a business venture rather than a basic right,” Ridon ended. [BicolToday.com]