Perennial problem of increasing costs of education greeted students in Mindanao

June 13 2011

CAGAYAN de ORO — With the new academic year kicking-off last June 6 and this June13 in the secondary and tertiary levels respectively, students are yet again faced with various issues imposed by government institutions and school administrators.. Aside from the usual school supplies needed, students are not only pressured with the increasing cost of basic commodities but are welcomed with more burdens of Tuition and Other Fees Increase (TOFI) added with exorbitant fees.

According to Antonio Pasco Jr., Anakbayan -Northern Mindanao Spokesperson, “High tuition has caused dwindling of enrollment in private schools while increasing density in State Universities and Colleges. SUCs on the other hand, receive less support from the national government, hence forcing them to increase fees all the same. Access to education has thus been reduced.”

In Cagayan de Oro, 11 Higher Educational Institutions increased tuition. The increases range from 4-15 percent. A total of 23 HEIs all over Northern Mindanao increased tuition this year. Aside from the excessive and skyrocketing school fees, students enrolled in SUCs will suffer more because of annual budget slashing. In MUST, the budget had been cut down from P24,470,000 last year to P20,444,000 this year; MSU Main Campus budget slashed from P77,340,000 to P 75,957( -1.79%) and MSU-IIT from P62,966,000 to P 56,669,000 (-10%). These annual budget cut in the state subsidies of the SUCs will result to the SUC administrators to implement various income generating projects to sustain the schools’ operation in the expense of the students.

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The schools also introduce many kinds of fees that range from the redundant to the absurd,
like development fee, energy fee, electricity fee, restricted fee, etc. MSU Main Campus
students are required to pay for IT Fee ( 5 hours of computer use for the whole semester,
having only 90 computer units for 15,000 students) and Laboratory Fee even to the students
who don’t have subjects that require laboratory work ; MSU-IIT charged P25 for medical fee
aside from the medical insurance fee that costs P40 ; Cagayan de Oro College surprised charged
with an additional Student Services Fee of P1,046 and P200 for registration fee In addition to
this, schools collect separate fees like PRISAA/COSAA Fee, athletic fee, sports fee, sports fee,
physical education fee, and varsity fee( charged to all students whether or not members of the

These are the concrete conditions of universities and colleges that are awaiting the youth in the basic and secondary levels – a darkening sorrow for them whilst they struggle with the added 3 years to basic education (through the universal kindergarten program and proposed K12) and the continuing lack of learning materials and school facilities.

Data provided by the DepEd shows that for the school year 2011-2012, public schools require an additional 101, 612 regular teachers; 66,800 classrooms; 135,847 comfort rooms; and 2,573,212 chairs. The Aquino administration has failed to solve these problems. The shortages are still there and the haphazard implementation of K+12 can only worsen the situation.

“DepEd, CHED and the Aquino government need to listen to the youth and students that have, for the longest time, pressed for reforms in the education system. The commercialized system of education has need to be reviewed by the government. There should be nationwide moratorium on TOFI in all colleges and universities. Privatization and corporatization of SUCs must be stopped. In fact, the public school system needs more support logistically and financially to drive national education objectives of development,“ Pasco stressed.#

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