NEWS IN PICTURES
MANILA – Youth groups stormed the main office of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched), on Thursday, April 30.
Ched is set to release the list of universities and colleges with approved tuition increase for the academic year 2015-2016. At least 400 schools proposed tuition increases for this school year.
Among the protesters were student leaders from the University of the Philippines Diliman and Manila, Miriam College, University of Santo Tomas, and De La Salle University Araneta. Youth groups under the Rise for Education Alliance also joined the protest.
Protesters hurled paint bombs at Ched’s gate and burned a list of “Ched’s crimes against the youth’s right to quality and accessible education.”
Charisse Bañez, national chairwoman of League of Filipino Student (LFS) said Ched had “exposed itself again as an institution that caters to the interests of profit-seeking capitalist-educators while betraying the youth’s right to education.”
“Regardless of the repression students opposing tuition hikes suffer, Ched continues to adhere to the whims of school administrators. Railroading fee increases regardless of complaints and protests proves that this Commission is anti-student to the core,” she said.
The group said the deregulation of education has guaranteed the accumulation of billions of profits for private universities. They cited data from Kabataan Partylist which revealed the gross profits (gross revenue less cost of goods and services) of universities as posted in documents submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The Far Eastern University posted a gross profit of P1.7 billion ($38 million) in 2013 and P1.5 billion ($33 million) in 2014. Ateneo de Manila University posted P2.9 billion ($65 million) in gross profits for both 2013 and 2014. Meanwhile, the University of the East posted gross profits amounting to P1.9 billion ($42 million) in both 2013 and 2014. The University of Sto. Tomas collected a total of P2.8 billion ($63 million) from tuition and P672 million ($15 million) from other school fees in 2012. The De La Salle University collected a total of P1.8 billion ($40 million) in tuition and P540 million ($12 million) in other school fees for 2013.
Bañez said the Education Act of 1982 and other deregulation policies in education “have paved the way for sharp increases in education costs.”
Text by Anne Marxze D. Umil
Photos by the League of Filipino Students