Students stage flash mob dance to protest tuition hikes
MANILA, Philippines — Foreseeing tuition increase next school year, students surprised the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Monday with a flash mob dance slamming the agency’s failure to act on complaints against colleges and universities arbitrarily hiking fees.
Members of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines-National Capital Region (CEGP-NCR) danced at the CHED main office in Quezon City to their version of “Bang Bang” in protest of what they described as an “annual” increase on tuition and other school fees by higher education institutions (HEIs).
The group called on other students to take part in the campus walkout scheduled for Friday to express their protest against an anticipated tuition and school fee hikes for academic year 2015-2016.
Friday’s action is also intended to express the students’ dismay over the alleged government cover-up of the Mamasapano operation where 44 members of the Special Action Force were killed.
According to the CEGP-NCR president Charina Claustro, “The annual increase in tuition and other fees by colleges and universities remains unabated because of the CHED’s inaction on complaints filed by students and the enforcement of the deregulation on education.”
Claustro lamented that the Education Act of 1982 has long been giving higher education institutions the license to arbitrarily raise tuition and other school fees.
The League of Filipino Students (LFS) has claimed that some 400 colleges and universities nationwide plan to seek tuition increase for AY 2015-2016.
LFS national spokesperson Charisse Bañez said the figure was based on annual applications for increase in tuition and other fees as well as reports from student councils and youth organizations nationwide.
She said that the national average tuition rate per unit in 2014 was P573.76 while the average tuition rate in Metro Manila for AY 2014-2015 was P1,143 per unit, almost triple the fee in 2001, which was at P439.59.
Bañez alleged, “The CHED has consistently been inutile when it comes to monitoring and preventing schools from increasing tuition.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.