Quezon City – On P.Noy’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA), members of Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND), a nationwide youth organization that pushes for nationalist, scientific, mass-oriented right to education marched the streets with hands clad in chains to show the state of the Philippine education sector under current state policies.
“It is dismal to note that up to this point our government refuses to comply with the UNESCO standard that says 6% of the Gross National Product (GNP) must be allotted to education”, said Rosanna Villegas –YND NCR Council member.
Mai Maluping YND-QC Coordinator added that despite the fact that DepEd got a 15% larger piece of the budget pie from Php 238.8B last year to Php 238.8B the Aquino government’s policies that clearly adheres to the neo-liberal policies of globalization like the Public Private Partnership (PPP) which further privatize, liberalize and commercialize Philippine education is a clear show of neglect of our future as youth.
According to CHED only 643 out of the 2,247 Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) are public or state owned. Most of these HEI’s like the National Teacher College (NTC), Mapua Institute of Technology, Centro Escolar University, Far Eastern University, which are mostly deregulated or with less government intervention teems in profit from bouts of tuition fee increases the most recent added a total average of Php 76.00 per unit.
“P.Noy’s policies are the same old policies that was implemented and failed over and over,” quipped Villegas.
Meanwhile, budgets for State Universities and Colleges (SUC’s) continue to dwindle. In fact, the K to 12 implementation got P 1 Billion of DepEd budget realigned to the two more years in basic education instead of adding more funds. Also, latest DepEd data revealed massive shortage in teachers (47, 584), classrooms (19,579), and sanitation facilities or comfort room (80, 837). Not surprisingly, 6.24 million Filipinos aged six to 24 are out-of-school. While only 1 out of 10 can graduate college.
YND criticizes the government’s unmindful act of pledging last month to give US$ 1 billion more to “help distressed economies” like those in Eurozone through the IMF to access more detrimental loans instead of rechanneling government funds to education from debt payments.
“It is high time to shift gears; YND demands for 6% of the GNP to be allocated to education. It is the state’s role to afford everyone accesible and quality education, ended Maluping.