CHEd IRR on free tuition negates concept of education as a right—Kabataan
Kabataan party-list on Monday said the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHEd) implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on free tuition for tertiary education “negates the concept of education as a right.”
In a statement, the progressive party-list said the IRR contains provisions which make youth slaves, such as the return service agreement.
“CHEd should not pretend to be magnanimous by suddenly releasing an unreasonably overdue IRR. It should be held accountable not only for the delay in the release of IRR but also in the continued hampering of the full implementation of the free tuition and no collection policies,” the youth party-list said.
“The fight for genuine free education continues. How disappointing that CHEd has only bastardized the victory of a decades-long struggle of the youth by formulating an IRR that negates the concept of education as a right,” it added.
The group also renewed its demand to refund all fees collected during the second semester of academic year ’17-’18.
According to the group, over P40 million was allocated for the implementation of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA), but around P5 million remained undisbursed from the Free Tuition Policy (FTP).
The party issued their statement after CHEd launched the enhanced IRR on the UAQTEA on Monday morning.
The program, which will take effect on AY 2018 to 2019, will provide free tuition, miscellaneous and other similar fees for students enrolled in state universities and colleges, and CHEd-recognized local universities and colleges.
Miscellaneous fees include library, computer, laboratory, school ID, athletic admission, development, guidance, handbook, entrance, registration, medical, dental and cultural fees.
The legislation was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 3, 2017.
The Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) was the agency created under RA 10687 mandated to implement all the identified programs stated in RA 10931. /je
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