Youth group, students slam CHEd for impending tuition hike
Dozens of youth and students trooped to the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) on Friday to condemn the impending increase of tuition and other school fees (TOSF) in about 400 higher educational institutions (HEIs) nationwide.
The protesters, led by the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), also denounced the continuing collection of TOSF in state universities and colleges (SUC).
“Due to this Commission’s inutility, private HEIs have freedom to increase TOSF without any disapproval from the government, while SUCs still find ways to collect TOSF despite having a free education law in place,” said Raoul Manuel, NUSP deputy secretary general.
He said that HEIs would increase TOSF at an average rate of six to 10 percent.
“The increase in tuition and other school fees is indeed an added burden to students. We are talking about thousands of pesos in addition to the expensive cost of education in private schools,” Manuel added.
According to a study by the NUSP, the following schools posted millions of revenues from tuition and other school fees in 2016: the University of the East, Lyceum of the Philippines University, and Far Eastern University.
Each school recorded P600 million gross revenues.
“Fee hikes only result in higher profits for these capitalist-educators who see education as a good business venture,” Manuel said.
Manuel also slammed many SUCs that work around Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Higher Education Law to collect fees from the students.
The student said that in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, students were required to pay miscellaneous fees amounting from P1,500 to as high as P6,000.
“Freshmen also paid the whole amount of tuition and other school fees,” he added.
This was also the same in University of the Philippines-Manila, while in UP Diliman, some students were forced to opt out of the free tuition policy, Manuel noted.
Manuel said the NUSP had received complaints from the Visayas State University (VSU) where free tuition was implemented to cover all students in the first semester of academic year 2017-2018, but was suspended in the second semester.
“The school switched to limiting the beneficiaries of free tuition, similar to the discriminatory Socialized Tuition System of UP,” he said.
Manuel pointed out that students with failing grades would no longer be qualified for the free education scheme as VSU revised its grading scheme to automatically give a failing grade of 5.0 to students with incomplete standing.
“This implies that the school can now collect tuition and other fees from them, regardless of the fact that some students fail their subjects because in the first place, they work while studying to cope with the exorbitant school fees,” he added. /jpv
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