Youth group slams DepEd for approving tuition hikes this year
Youth group Anakbayan on Monday slammed the Department of Education (DepEd) for allowing more than 500 private schools to raise tuition and other school fees in the coming school year.
In a statement, the group said allowing tuition increases amid soaring prices of basic commodities due to the implementation of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law was “cruel, unreasonable, and anti-people.”
“Once again the DepEd has shown that its name should be changed to the Department of Miseducation. It has all but abandoned millions of learners and their parents and have sacrificed their futures on the altar of private profit,” Anakbayan Secretary General Einstein Recedes said.
The group said the tuition hike, which ranges from 5 to 10 percent, exacerbated by the two additional years in school due to the implementation of the K-12 program, was a burden to Filipino families.
“Millions of Filipinos are suffering, more and more unable to afford basic needs such as food, fuel, and transport, due to Duterte’s TRAIN Law, and it is even being used by capitalist educators to justify fee increases for utilities and services,” Recedes said.
The group pointed out that DepEd, as the sole regulator of the education sector, should be blamed for implementing neo-liberal policies that force parents to pay and enroll children in private schools rather than in public schools.
“By allowing the stagnation of our classrooms, books, and equipment, the DepEd pushes parents towards private education, thus ensuring a steady stream of profit for capitalist-educators, in accordance with the government’s neo-liberal outlook which seeks to privatize the provision of public services,” he said.
According to Recedes, the government is wasting billions of pesos in directly subsidizing private schools through the Education Service Contracting scheme and the Senior High School Voucher Program.
“We are wasting billions of taxpayer pesos and channeling them towards the pockets of billionaire educators, when we should instead be using this budget to pay for additional classrooms, books, learning materials, laboratory equipment, and increased salaries of our public school teachers,” he said. /ee
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