MANILA, Philippines June 06, 2011 is the first day of classes in the elementary and high school levels. In that day, millions of students will troop back to their classrooms, starting another school year.
But for estimated 1Million out of school youth and 2.4 Million child-laborers, it is a day that they protest against the governments utter neglect of the education sector, as P.Noys administration does not seem to have the political will to address the concerns of the youth, most especially those who are out of school due to economic reasons.
Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND) leads a joint rally of students and out-of-school- youth’s. It brings into action the common voice of the youth asking for the present regime to show its sincerity in implementing changes in the education sector by increasing the education budget.
Elmer Arisgado, YND spokesperson added that it is also vital that the country develop a nationalist, mass-oriented and scientific education instead of an education program that is aligned to global trends that underline technical and vocational courses rather than formal professional education.
Arisgado, said that With the escalating prices in fuel, basic commodities and transportation, it is possible that a significant number of students will quit school as their parents encounter difficulties in making both ends meet.
To show the present plight of the youth who are unable to continue school due to the current quagmire, protesters marched wearing chains which symbolizes their situation as a result of the half-hearted efforts to address the deteriorating quality of education in the Philippines.
These placards we don sends a clear message to PNoy we want access to education, stop kicking us out of school, pointed out Arisgado.
He also explained that programs like the K+12 Education Cycle do not resolve but aggravate the situation, as additional years in school requires more classrooms, with more classrooms, you need more teachers, so you must have a substantial budget allocation, in which the government does not do, so you still have a problem here. Another is that debt servicing is prioritized over social services, which are contrary to what the State trumpets about.
YND warns the government of “continued indignation and protest actions from the youth sector if the administration will remain to be deaf and blind to their legitimate demands “.