There is no valid reason in this world to disregard blessings just like Free Education. The reality of being qualified on free education you have been longing will might make you think, as if it’s a privilege. In Philippines’ system of education, the history simply describes its story as privilege not our right.
What we are telling about even before since long time ago is that education is a right not a privilege. As stated in the constitution, education must be given the highest budgetary priority that will ensure the best of knowledge of the students for its success and betterment.
But reality shows that there are still lapses that we encounter under this system. Tuition fees, budget cut, repressions and other anti-student policies that undermines the security, assurance and future of the youth today.
In this generation, still thousands of youth are protesting, demanding for free public education for all. Progressive youths fighting for free public education for all believe that band aid solutions of the government will never address the root cause of the existing rotten system in education.
The implementation of the current Free Tuition Policy (FTP) in selected State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) are on going. In line with the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) released by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Budget and Management (DBM), priorities will be given to students in order for them to be accommodated in the system. This includes the member of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s) and the rest will be based from the per capita income of the family.
Somehow, it will lessen the burden of the students and parents but the process really seems to attest the patience of the ‘iskolar ng bayan’. Trial and error as they call it, lucky for the students who will be accommodated for free tuition, and sorry for those who do not qualify.
For the first week of the enrolment, there are stories of relief, disappointment, satisfaction and difficulties flooded on social media posted by students concerning the FTP. Who doesn’t wants free tuition, right? But the point that brings many in dismay is the priorities set on the IRR that put limits to those who wanted to experience this significant change. Competition is intensifying and you have to drill your worthiness to be qualified.
It would have been more delightful if the students will have to experience free public education not just on tertiary level but also on primary and secondary. Students must be vigilant on asserting their rights most especially on the issue they are facing. Social media is good but social interaction is way better to assert democratic rights that will soon benefit all of us.
Free tuition policy will certainly lessen the baggage of the students and of the parents that have long been carrying but this will not certainly address the fundamental problems in education. It is just and reasonable to ask and demand for what is right no matter how furious it is. Hopes of the nation must stand firm on the issues around and act as an agent of change for better future. (BaretangBikolnon.com)