CHEd launches probe on death of Cagayan State U student
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) on Thursday said it would start an investigation on the death of a 16-year-old teen who took her own life reportedly due to her inability to pay school fees.
The commission said it was “concerned” over the student’s death.
“CHEd (is) concerned over (the) death of (a) Cagayan State (University) coed. (It) directed CSU officials to look into (the) matter seriously,” it posted on its Twitter account.
The student, a respiratory therapy freshman at the Cagayan State University, was found dead in her home at Abulug town in Cagayan province on Feb. 25.
Abulug police chief Senior Insp. Engelbert Bunagan was quoted in reports saying that the cause of her suicide was her inability to pay school fees. The teenager’s mother also verified the reason to the police.
It was also found out in the police investigation that she has also failed to pay her rent in her dormitory for the past two months.
Following the incident, the National Youth Commission (NYC) slammed CHEd for seemingly forgetting the welfare of the students in higher educational institutions.
“Yung nakakalungkot, parang nakaligtaan ng CHEd yung kapakanan ng estudyante (It is sad that CHEd seems to have forgotten the welfare of the students),” NYC Chair Gio Tingson said in a statement.
“We urge CHEd to work more proactively in pushing for the welfare of the students. We need their institution to act on unbridled tuition and miscellaneous fees as they destroy the bright future of young Filipinos,” Tingson said.
The NYC on its part said it would coordinate with CSU’s board of regents to resolve the issue and provide assistance to the freshman’s family.
Kabataan party-list and the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) said “majority of the population of the 40,000 CSU students cannot afford the cost of school fees.”
According to NUSP, although CSU does not charge any tuition, students need to pay miscellaneous and other school fees ranging from P2,000 to P4,000.
For the next school year 2015-2016, CSU is said to reimpose tuition.
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