Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Editorial Cartoon: Cabinet

March 6, 2009

general-cabinet

Yeah right!

Various education sectors in Cordillera assess concerns

March 6, 2009

BAGUIO CITY — Some 110 participants from various sectors in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) attended the regional conference on education entitled “Forging Unity Among Various Sectors Towards Quality education” held on February 21.

The conference became a venue to make steps and plan of actions to address the basic problems in education that the region faces today.

The state of education was viewed from different perspectives. National Union of Student of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet (NUSP-BB) Chairperson Maria Finela Mejia said education system in Cordillera is commercialized, colonial and fascist, as manifested in the rising cost of education and the courses offered today.

She cited the implementation of Commission on Higher Education Memorandum Order 13 (CHEd Memo 13) as major cause of the yearly tuition and other fees hikes for it allows school owners to increase tuition and other fees without limit.

Amid the rising cost of education, the government and schools promote courses that are marketable and the ones with labor-export orientation. In the end, she challenges the youth by saying, “we should unite in fighting for our right to nationalist, mass-oriented and scientific education.”

CHEd recognized the students’ dilemma and said they have and will continue to ask the school owners not to increase tuition and other fees. When CHEd mentioned its assistance programs, some delegates commented they can not avail these scholarships because they do not meet the requirements of being “poor but deserving.”

On this note, CHEd CAR Director Virginia Akiate asked the students to pass a position paper regarding this so that CHEd can review the requirements of its scholarship programs.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), on the other hand, faulted the insufficient budget and government’s misprioritization of education for the declining quality of education.

“There are classrooms, books, and teachers shortages, yet the government allocates almost half of the national budget to debt services,” ACT Metro-Baguio Coordinator Perry Mendoza said.

These problems in education were proved to be true by the delegates themselves during the workshop groups where they cited manifestations of education problems in their provinces of Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province.

With the crisis in education, the delegates were then divided into workshop groups and made as to how they can address the problems. Before the conference ends, the delegates came up with “Manifesto of unity calling for the quality and relevant education for all young Filipinos” signed by the delegates. # Adrian Galang

Student groups say tuition freeze no impact

March 6, 2009

BAGUIO CITY — Tuition freeze has not relieved students here with schools now contemplating to increase miscellaneous and other fees.

Student groups here assailed the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) stance on tuition freeze, saying said order is now being used as an excuse to increase miscellaneous and other school fees.

Earlier in the National Capital Region, youth groups dismissed as ‘toothless’ the recent CHEd memorandum appealing for a moratorium on tuition increases. The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), Kabataan Youth Party, Anakbayan and Student Christian Movement of the Philippines held a picket protest outside the CHEd main office, Tuesday.

In a press conference here Tuesday, the fifth of a series of media blitz launched by progressive youth and student organizations based here, representatives of NUSP, College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), and student councils of two universities hit CHEd fornot ordering a freeze in all school fees, as well.

NUSP’s Maria Finela Mejia said the youth and student organization has earlier called on CHEd not to allow the increase in tuition and other fees considering the global financial crisis that has obviously affected everyone, especially the poor.

Mejia said, “Di namin naramdaman ang epekto ng pag-apila ng CHEd sa mga paaralan na di magtaas ng tuition, dahil nagtaasan naman ang ibang bayarin,” (CHEd’s appeal for schools not to increase tuition has no impact on us because these increased other fees.)

Saint Louis University (SLU) and the University of the Cordilleras (UC) are among the universities which had drumbeated an increase in miscellaneous fees.

Marcius Aquino, vice-governor of the Kasama Supreme Student Council (SSC) said, with 10% increases in miscellaneous fees, SLU is even getting more than the 2007-2008 increases in tuition (4.5%) and miscellaneous (4.5%), which is only a total of 9%.

Aquino divulged the lack of a genuine consultation with students, saying the administration has not replied on the student request for a dialog.

In UC, the administration has not called for student leaders in a consultation, according to William Mamaglo, UC Supreme Student Government (SSG) president. He said, the student gfovernment would ask that the increases should not be higher than 5% but the proposal is 10%.

STI Computer College asks for a 6% increase in tuition and other fees, while the University of the Philippines proposes a 15% increase in tuition and other fees.

This semester SLU tuition is 357 per unit. Both UC and University of Baguio now collect an average of P370/unit; UPcollects P600/unit. Tuition is P352 per unit in Easter College.

Based on CHEd data, 372 private colleges and universities increased their tuition at an average of P36.75 per unit last year. In the NCR, average tuition is P855.20 per unit. # Lyn V. Ramo

Editorial Cartoon: New Highway (Railroaded)

January 31, 2009

education-hi-way-robbery

CHED sets 5-year spread for 5 courses

January 28, 2009

STARTING school year 2009-2010, engineering, architecture, nursing and accounting will all be a five-year college course under a program that seeks to place the country’s educational system at par with global standards.

Commission on Higher Education chairman Emmanuel Angeles, concurrent vice chair of the Presidential Task Force on Education (PTFE) said the retooling of the said courses is part of the “New Philippine Education Highway” program submitted to President Arroyo last month.

Angeles said the move formalizes the prevailing situation where students enrolled in the said courses take almost five years to complete them. The revised curriculum will also allow the country to conform to international agreements like the Bologna and Washington Accords which set the standards for such courses.

Presidential Adviser for Education Mona Valisno earlier said five years would do more to improve the Filipino graduates’ competitiveness vis-a-vis their counterparts in the international labor market.

“Despite the competent and hardworking abilities of Filipino professionals, many are not able to land good jobs or the jobs their degree requires because their credentials are based on a 10-year basic education program, which is not recognized globally,” Valisno said.

Citing international reports, Valisno said only professionals from schools like the Asian Institute of Management, Ateneo, De La Salle and UP Diliman, Manila, and Los Banos are internationally recognized.

Angeles said the PTFE has also recommended the adoption of 10+2+3 formula in reforming the country’s education system which translates to 10 years in elementary and secondary school, two years for pre-university, and three years for a baccalaureate degree.

CHED said all five-year degree courses that require passing the Professional Regulation Commission’s licensure exams – accountancy, architecture, education, nursing, engineering, occupational therapy, physical therapy and pharmacy – will be covered by the 10+2+3 scheme.

Angeles claimed completing the course under the revised curriculum would be cheaper, contrary to belief that the additional one year would entail additional expenses, will give students more time to study, and make them globally competitive.

Under the current 10-year basic education setup, he said college graduates we consider professionals here are only rated as technicians when they work overseas. – Ashzel Hachero(Malaya)

====================

My Take:

What the heck!

We produced bright teachers and rsourceful nurses in the past for a four-year course only.  And now, they wanted to add a year!

This is obvious, CHED Commissioners and other powers-that-be who owns nursing school wants to rake in more money.

I think GMA has a hand on this.  CHED is under her office.

PSYCOLOGIST SAYS English no sign of being educated

January 16, 2009

Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 04:46:00 01/16/2009 Filed Under: Language, Education, Legislation MANILA, Philippines—The notion that being fluent in English is a sign of being educated is wrongheaded, according to a De la Salle University professor opposed to a House bill seeking to enforce the use and teaching of English to improve English-speaking proficiency in the country. “There is no sound basis for that. It is somewhat naïve to think that if you teach using English to students, students will automatically be more fluent,” said Dr. Allan Bernardo, a professor of cognitive psychology. “Education goes beyond being able to speak a foreign language well. We need to correct that notion,” he said in a lecture at the University of the Philippines in which he critiqued two House bills that approach the issue of language instruction for the primary grades differently. House Bill 5619, authored by Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas, seeks to strengthen and enhance the use of English as a medium of instruction in schools, particularly in elementary and high school. Gullas was unable to attend the first part of the forum and another professor, Neil Zatoquia, outlined the salient points of his bill. Under the Gullas bill, English and Filipino will be taught as separate subjects in elementary and high school. “In addition to formal instruction, the use of English shall be encouraged as a language of interaction in the school. Corollary to this, the organization of English clubs such as book, oratorical, debating, writing and related associations shall be encouraged. In school publications, the use of English shall be given priority as far as practicable,” the bill reads. Valenzuela Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo, who is pushing a multi-lingual approach, commented that it was also important to increase the functional literacy of students and not only how well they speak English. In House Bill 3719, Gunigundo proposes a multi-lingual education policy program in Filipino schools, using both English and Filipino as the language of instruction. Julie M. Aurelio

Cost of war: 550 students drop out of school in NorthCot

November 11, 2008

Malu Cadelina-Manar/MIndaNews
Sunday, 09 November 2008 06:50
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st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/8 Nov) – Some 550 students in North Cotabato have dropped out of school since hostilities between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) resumed in early August, police said.


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Chief Supt. Felicisimo Khu, head of the Task Force Palma-Pikit, said most of the dropouts are high school students, numbering 448; the rest are in elementary. Most affected is a public high school in the town of Carmen, where 33 students, all males and all Maguindanaons, stopped reporting back to school.

The principal of Takepan National High School in Pikit town earlier said that 15 of her students failed to return to school when classes resumed.

The police also noted student dropouts in Aleosan, Banisilan, Pikit, Carmen, Tulunan, M’lang, Midsayap, Alamada, Kabacan, and Matalam.

Khu said that based on their initial findings, the students left school mainly because of fear that fighting might erupt again. He added that poverty also prevented the others from going back to school.

“But we do not discount the possibility that some of these students might have been recruited by an armed group operating in North Cotabato,” said Khu, adding that they did receive “disturbing” reports of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) Commander Umbra Kato training children for warfare.

Khu stressed that recruiting minors for war is a violation of local and international laws.

The MILF, however, denied the reports, saying it was part of a government propaganda to discredit the rebel group.

“Everybody is using Kato in whatever way possible. I don’t think some of these students who dropped out from school have gone training at one of our camps,” said Eid Kabalu, chief of civil-military relations of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)

Catholic Education Bits

September 20, 2008

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CEAP elected new officers

The Catholic Education Association of the Philippines (CEAP), on its National Convention held on September 11-13 at the Ateneo de Davao University, has selected its new set of officers for 2008.

Msgr. Gerardo Santos is the new president. He is currently the head of the Ministry of Education and Catechetics(MECS), and president of the Manila Archdiocesan And Parochial Schools Association, Inc.(MAPSAI). He is also the executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education(ECCCE) of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines(CBCP).

Here are the names of the new officers:

Vice-President-Fr Gregorio Banaga Jr, CM, Corporate Secretary-Dr. Carmelita I. Quebengco, and treasurer: Mo. Assumpta David, RVM.

Board of Directors are —David, Banaga, Quebengco, Atty. Ulpiano P. Sarmiento III, and Br. Armin Luistro, FSC.

Regional Directors are Region-NCR—Santos, Region 1-Fr. Ambrose L. Ponce, SVD, Region 2-Fr. Romeo B. Gonzales, MS, Region 3-Fr. Rufo Ramil H. Cruz, Region 4-Fr. Teodulfo B. Baria, Jr., Region 5-Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ, Region 6- Fr. Antonio Limchaypo, OAR, Region 7-Fr. Roderick C. Salazar Jr., SVD, Region 8-Mrs. Sonia C. Palami, Region 9-Fr. Antonio F. Moreno, SJ, Region 10 -Fr. Aureo A. Pati-An, Region 11- Fr. Danny C. Montaña, RCJ, Region 12-Fr. Eduardo Tanudtanud, OMI, ARMM Mr. Nestor J. Lemana Sr., CARAGA-Fr. Edito N. Alcala, DCS, CAR, Sr. Lourdes M. Dulay, ICM, and Superintendent Fr. Paquito G. Gallego

Formed in 1941, The CEAP clims to be the biggest organized group of Catholic schools in the country, with about 1,194 members.

According to its documents, the CEAP upholds quality Catholic education in the spirit of communion and service, guided by Gospel values and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. But a number of student’s rights violation, campus press freedom violation and other labor-related cases are hounding some of CEAPs member-school.

CEAP seeks to advocate for government and NGO support to small member schools on issues affecting Catholic education, ensure effective and efficient delivery of services and programs in the national and regional levels, work towards financial viability of member schools, find ways for collaborative efforts among member schools, increase its visibility in national and regional levels while maintaining credibility and integrity in projecting its views and positions to the general public.

And yet CEAP is not so active on BEC organizing inside its campuses and the community surrounding them.

Teaching as a Ministry

Bishop Honesto Pacana, SJ, of the Malaybalay Diocese, urged the CEAP Convention delegates to view teaching as a sort of ministry.

In his homily, Pacana reminded the educators of the phrase, “Feed my lambs; Feed my sheep.”

Pacana explained that ‘feeding the lambs or sheep’ means influencing the students by good example, living the values of Christ and not just by words and deeds.

“It also means inspiring them to face and approach and face life full of joy, fulfillment and generous giving,” he said.

Pacana added, “feeding also means giving more attention to ‘the least, the last and the lost’ for lack of intellectual giftedness, social connections, culture endowment or economic standing.”

“You have to help them think with the Church and make them proclaimers in words and deeds of her social teachings of truth, peace and justice,” he said.

Ironically, The Jesuit-run Ateneo schools are popularly known for its high tuition and other fees. A number of Ateneo drop-outs pointed to this financial aspect of Catholic education as the culprit.

This tuition-thing has successfully transformed the Ateneo system into an elite academe for the elite class and the middle class, both capable of churning out wads of cash for a Christ-centered Catholic education.

COCOPEA blabbers on Eucharist in Education

The chairman of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA), Fr. Roderick C. Salazar, Jr., SVD, has urged Catholic educational institutions in the country to continue to view the Eucharist as the sacrament that is the source of inspiration and strength in Education.

But Salazar is so intent on promoting the Eucharist that he deliberately forgot to state the equal importance of forming Bsic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) inside their member-schools.

The BEC, as a necessary pastoral program of a Diocese and Parish should find ample space also inside the very academe. The BEC, is the ultimate praxis of transforming a community into a living Catholic community, a community of churches made of flesh and blood.

(BarangayRP)

Youth Under Siege

September 19, 2008

Youth organizations have been targets of the government’s counter-insurgency campaign. Besides killings and enforced disappearances, other forms of political repression are hurled against young activists.

BY JEFFREY OCAMPO
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Contributed to Bulatlat
Volume VIII, Number 32, September 14-20, 2008

Youth organizations have been targets of the government’s counter-insurgency campaign. Besides being targets of killings and enforced disappearances, youth activists also suffer from other forms of political repression.

According to the human rights group Karapatan, out of the 910 killings, 23 victims come from the youth sector.

In 2006, Karapatan documented the most number of cases of extrajudicial killings. Three of its most distressing cases had young activists as victims.  Students Rei Mon Guran and Cris Hugo, both from Sorsogon, Bicol, were victims of summary execution during that year. Guran and Hugo were both regional coordinators of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) when they were shot by their assailants in separate incidents. Guran sustained four gunshot wounds after a gunman fired at him inside a bus, which had a stopover at Bulan, while Hugo was shot dead by two motorcycle-riding men while walking home with his professor. In Negros Occidental, Anakbayan organizer Peter Angcon was killed allegedly by military agents.

These young activists were youth leaders known for their sharp criticisms of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration. The national leadership of Anakbayan and LFS held Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the military directly responsible for the killings. The groups say that all evidences point to the military as the perpetrators, and Arroyo is the commander-in-chief.

Recent reports of various youth groups indicate that the efforts of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration in quelling dissent among the people, including the youth, have not ceased. State agents are employing surveillance, harassment and other tactics against young activists.

Executive order 731: of “hideous intentions”

Last June 10, an executive order (EO) was publicly announced by the Macapagal-Arroyo administration but only after the president had signed it three days earlier. Entitled “Activating and Reorganizing the Energy Operations Board into a Contingency Task Force Under the National Food and Energy Council”, EO 731 aims to monitor the national security situation amid continuous oil price surges within the past months and the people’s active response against it.

The task force has Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita as its head and Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes as its operations officer. Both retired military men are close allies of the president. Meanwhile, the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) is directed to “issue timely intelligence assessments of political and security developments” and “provide advice on matters affecting national security.” Its current commander Brigadier General Romeo Prestoza is known to be a former member of Military Intelligence Group (MIG21), a special military unit for technical intelligence.

Critics of the administration point out the “hideous intentions” behind the EO 731. For the members of progressive youth organizations, this is but a camouflage that legitimizes military intelligence operations within academic institutions. The ulterior motive is to spy on student activities, instill fear among the youth and discourage students’ active involvement in national affairs.  Further, they question the inclusion of the Commission on Higher Education in the task force.

Anakbayan National Chairperson Ken Ramos links recent cases of military presence in school premises and the series of political harassments experienced by students to the issuance of EO 731.

Military presence

Ramos added that youth activists are also being singled out and harassed during  “educational forums” held by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in different schools. During the said forums, progressive student organizations are branded by the AFP as “front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).”

The AFP singles out the LFS, Student Christian Movement (SCM) and Anakbayan.  The AFP, through the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in universities, has conducted these forums at the Philippine Normal University (PNU), Centro Escolar University (CEU), Jose Rizal University (JRU) and University of the Philippines, Diliman (UPD).

Part of these educational forums is a film-showing of a documentary, which tackles the stories of young people “deceived by the CPP-NPA-NDF.” A “former NPA member” in the documentary named Ka May pinpoints the LFS and Anakbayan as legal fronts of the NPA. She then discourages students from joining these organizations saying that her life has been destroyed because she joined these groups, which led her to join the NPA. The documentary ends with a slide show of names and information about “other student-victims of the deceptions of the CPP-NPA-NDF.”

SCM counters this accusation by saying that red baiting has been the “dirty tactic” of the AFP to prevent youth and students from joining their organizations. This ploy, however, will not stop their organizations from moving on with their tasks of exposing the realities of the times and presenting alternatives to the current system, they say. “If the AFP thinks that they can fool youth and students with this forum and documentary, they are wrong,” the group adds.

Meanwhile, these youth groups attest to the presence of military in schools and universities. Their claim is confirmed by a recent incident at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Sta. Mesa. Four identified members of the Philippine Army were cornered by a mob of enraged students last August 29 after they were caught in the act of spying on the activity being organized by student groups. The messages stored in the cellular phone recovered from the military agents confirmed the intelligence operations the four men were carrying out.

In a statement released by PUP Student Regent Sophia Prado and Ramos, they said that “the presence of military units are meant to monitor student actions, pinpoint the organizations and sow fear inside the campus and ultimately disrupt the student movement.”

Cases of harassment escalate

Recent reports from different youth groups show that there have been alarming cases of harassment among their members. On July 13, TANGGULAN Youth Network for Civil Liberties and Human Rights convened a meeting to gather these reports.

One of the most alarming cases of harassment was experienced by a student of Jose Rizal University (JRU). Ella, a freshman Hotel and Restaurant Management student was reportedly harassed last July allegedly by a military agent who enfolded her in his arms and pointed a knife at her stomach. The incident happened twice, first at Damca in Sta. Mesa and then along Shaw Boulevard. In the second incident, the victim screamed, making her assailant run away.

Meanwhile, a LFS UPD chapter member was discussing national issues with a student she was recruiting when the student asked if they could go somewhere far so they could talk about the matter well. As soon as they were away, the student called “a friend” and said that the person on the line was from ISAFP.

Another case happened to a UP Manila student who, aboard a bus, was threatened allegedly by a military agent who sat beside her. Shaken, the student was not able to do or say anything except “‘Wag po” (Please, don’t).

TANGGULAN along with the victims of political harassments and different youth groups would file a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights on Sept. 15.

Silencing voices, killing “the hope”

In the provinces, repression experienced by youth and students is more blatant and often includes grave harassments and killings.

Last year, Criselda Josena of Tandem, the official student publication of the University of Northern Philippines (UNP), was charged with robbery and subsequently with theft by the publication’s adviser without sufficient evidences. According to her colleagues, she is now suffering post-traumatic stress syndrome after she was continuously summoned by the university’s administration.

Meanwhile, a student of Polytechnic University of the Philippines branch in Lopez, Quezon was recently charged with rebellion without enough evidence to justify the charge.

Resistance

Anakbayan, LFS and SCM along with various student councils, student publications, student organizations and individuals condemn the “fascistic means of the Mrs. Arroyo” in silencing groups and individuals critical of her administration. In her “desperate attempt to stay in power, she makes no qualms in using extra legal means to control the people,” the groups said.

The youth groups are to mount protest actions in the following weeks to counter the “heightened political repression.”  Bulatlat

Students square off with UP president

September 13, 2008

BAGUIO CITY — “Yes to better UP, no to tuition and other fee increases!”

This was the call of the students of the University of the Philippines Baguio as they come face to face to the state university president last August 29 during an informal dialog in the campus here.

According to Student Council chairperson John Silverio Saligbon, UP is supposed to be for the Filipino masses but the tuition and other fee increases (TOFI) is showing otherwise thus, is anti-poor.

The university Board of Regents (BoR), the highest policy-making body of the whole UP system approved the TOFI in 2006 with the 100% increase in tuition bloating it from P300 two years ago to P600 per unit last school-year. TOFI was implemented for the incoming freshmen last year.

Students, however, point out the increases in miscellaneous fees went as high as 300%.

UP President Emerlinda Roman said aside from the TOFI there is an automatic yearly tuition increase based on the country’s inflation rate, which the university started to implement also last year.


SQUARE OFF. University of the Philippines President Emerlinda Roman (Left) faced the students of UP Baguio in a dialog to clear issues on the state university’s fee increases. Photo by Cye Reyes/NORDIS

“For this school year, we did not implement this automatic increase because we also considered the economic hardship of the people,” said Roman.

She also cited TOFI is not fully implemented yet thus not fully maximized for the university’s other financial needs.

According to Roman, the BoR is also currently studying the university’s socialized tuition under its system-wide Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) where more affluent students pay more than the less fortunate ones.

“Also through this program, funds from campuses that have more collection are shared with other campuses,” said Roman.

Meanwhile, UP Baguio Chancellor Priscilla Supnet-Macansantos said it is not expected for the majority of the students to favor these increases and that the school officials could only do so much.

“Mahal talaga mag-aral,” (It is really expensive to study), she said eliciting adverse reactions from students.

Government subsidy

Roman said education should be fully subsidized by the government as mandated by the constitution but in reality it is not given any priority.

According to the Philippine constitution the government should prioritize the education sector in the budget allocation. At present, bulk of the government’s budget is allocated to debt servicing.

“Most of the education budget goes to the basic education and the higher education sector gets only 13%, which continues to decrease every year,” said Roman adding that 112 state colleges and universities (SCU) share this meager budget.

Saligbon on the other hand said the BoR should assert increases in the education budget especially for SCUs by submitting a petition to the House of Representatives for consideration during budget hearings.

“Sirang plaka”

Meanwhile, some students were disappointed with the dialog because according to them Roman and other school officials keep telling them the same old stories.

“It is like listening to a ‘sirang plaka’ where the song keeps on playing,” said Michelle Santos of Anakbayan UP Baguio.

“We want action and not just excuses for justifying the increases in school fees,” added Santos.

Roman and other members of the BoR were in the city to meet and discuss different issues of the state university. # Cye Reyes (NorDis)

Panibagong paninikil sa kampus

September 8, 2008

Soliman A. Santos

NAGPROTESTA sa harap ng tanggapan ng Ched (Commission on Higher Education) sa Lungsod Quezon noong Agosto 27 ang suspendidong mga estudyante ng JRU (Jose Rizal University), kasama ng iba pang tagasuporta mula sa iba’t ibang eskuwelahan, para hilingin ang aksiyon ng komisyon sa anila’y hindi makatarungang pagpapatalsik mula sa naturang unibersidad.

Hindi inalintana ng mga mag-aaral ang pagbuhos ng ulan nang magmartsa sila mula sa Philcoa papunta sa tanggapan ng Ched sa bungad ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas sa Diliman.

Nabulabog ang mga guwardiya at mga empleyado nang makita ang paparating na mga estudyante. Ayon sa mga guwardiya, ngayon lamang sila dinumog ng mga nagpoprotestang estudyante.

Gusto sanang pumasok ng mga estudyante pero agad silang pinagsarhan ng pinto ng mga guwardiya. Nakipagdayalogo ang mga lider ng grupo at nakipagkasundong lima lamang sa mga estudyante ang papasukin para pag-usapan ang kanilang hinaing.

Di makatarungang pagpapatalsik

Nandito kami ngayon para hilingin sa Ched na aksiyunan ang ilegal na pagpapatalsik sa amin ng administrasyon ng JRU,” sabi ni Louie Galang, fourth year student sa College of Commercial Science at isa sa 19 na estudyanteng pinatalsik sa nasabing unibersidad.

Pinatalsik sa JRU si Galang kasama ng kanyang mga kapwa mag-aaral nang magsagawa sila ng isang ‘snake rally’ noong Hulyo 17.

Ang naturang snake rally ay bahagi ng kanilang kampanya laban sa pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, pag-alis ng VAT (Value-Added Tax) at suporta sa P125 dagdag-na-sahod na hinihingi ng mga manggagawa. Karamihan sa mga naturang estudyante ay kasapi ng Anakbayan, SCM (Student Christian Movement) at Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan o Karatula.

Ayon kay Galang, mahigit 10 guwardiya ang nagtangkang dumapot sa kanila habang isinasagawa ang kanilang protesta. Nagkaroon ng komosyon dahil tumanggi silang sumama sa mga guwardiya at dahil na rin ayaw silang ibigay ng kanilang mga kapwa estudyante.

Bandang huli, sumama rin sila sa tanggapan ni Maria Luisa Saba, dekana ng Student Affairs, na siyang nag-utos na damputin sila. Katwiran ng administrasyon, hinuli nila ang mga estudyante dahil wala silang permit para magsagawa ng isang rali.

Pero ayon sa mga estudyante, tinakot sila ng administrasyon. Sinabihan silang wala pang kasong isinampa ng mga estudyante laban sa isang pribadong eskwelahan ang nanalo sa korte. Saka pinatawan ng preventive suspension ang nagprotestang mga estudyante.

Matapos ang anim na araw, dininig ang kaso ng nagprotestang mga estudyante para malaman kung ano ang aksiyong pandisiplina ang ipapataw sa kanila. Makalipas ang isang linggo, 15 sa mga sinuspinde ang pinayagang makabalik sa unibersidad. Samantala, ‘forced transfer’ naman ang parusa kina Galang, Kester Ray Santos, Danica Dimayacyac at Michael Anthony Dantes.

Ayon sa administrasyon, madalas makita ang apat na estudyante sa mga protesta sa loob at labas ng kampus.

“Pati ‘yung mga pag-iikot namin sa mga klase, ginamit nilang ebidensiya. Kasama raw iyon sa mga protesta kaya kami pinatalsik,” ani Galang.

Naghahawan ng landas

Ayon naman sa mga grupong Anakbayan, SCM at Karatula, karapatan ng mga estudyante na magsagawa ng mga protesta para maiparating ang kanilang mga hinaing. Tinawag nilang “tahasang paninikil” sa mga estudyante ang ginawa ng adminsitrasyon ng JRU. Dagdag pa nila, ginagawa rin ng ibang eskuwelahan ang ganitong taktika para pigilan ang protesta ng mga estudyante.

Tuloy naman sa kanilang paglaban para sa kanilang karapatan sina Galang. Ayon sa kanya, tagumpay na ang pagpapabalik sa 15 nasuspindeng estudyante. Pinatutunayan lamang umano nito na lehitimo ang kanilang ginawang protesta.

Umaasa siyang sa pamamagitan nito, nahahawan ang landas para sa isang mas demokratikong sistema sa loob ng kanilang unibersidad at iba pang eskuwelahan.

“Kung sama-sama tayong makikipaglaban para sa ating karapatan, hindi nila tayo basta-basta masusupil,” ani Galang.

Subalit tila walang maasahan sa mga ahensiya ng gobyerno gaya ng Ched ang apat pang estudyanteng pinatalsik na wala ngayong masulingan at humihingi pa rin ng katarungan.

Matapos makipagdayalogo ng mga estudyante noong maulang hapong iyon, sinabihan lamang sila ng mga opisyal ng Ched na magsampa ng motion for reconsideration sa tanggapan ng presidente ng JRU.(PinoyWeekly)

6,533 law grads take Bar exams

September 7, 2008

By Sandy Araneta
Sunday, September 7, 2008

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A record number of 6,533 law graduates will take the 2008 Bar examinations starting today at the De La Salle University (DLSU) on Taft Avenue, Manila, the Supreme Court said.

In a report posted on the SC website, Deputy Clerk of Court and Bar Confidant Ma. Cristina Layusa said of the total 6,560 petitions to take the Bar exams, 11 had been denied.

Sixteen Bar candidates have also withdrawn, reducing the number of examinees to 6,533 as of press time yesterday.

The exams will be held on all four Sundays of the month – Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28.

Last year, 5,626 examinees took the 2007 Bar exams, and only 1,289 examinees, or 22.91 percent, passed.

The first Bar Exams were held in 1901 with 13 examinees.

Supreme Court Justice Dante Tinga, who chairs the 2008 Committee on Bar Examinations, said this year’s exams have the “most number of candidates, the most number of rooms (to be used).”

This year’s examinees will use 95 rooms, five conference rooms, and Central Plaza, and 57 additional classrooms, including six theater-type rooms, of the DLSU Taft campus.

Also a record number are the 1,440 personnel assigned to help ensure the successful conduct of this year’s exams.

Layusa said they include building coordinators, superintendents, supervisors, headwatchers, watchers, bar assistants and special assistants.

Operatives of the Metro Manila Development Authority and the Manila Police District’s traffic, area security, bomb disposal and mobile units, as well as medical and dental personnel, will be deployed in the area on all four Sundays.

Layusa urged the examinees to come early today since the annual Alay Lakad along Roxas Boulevard may affect the traffic situation in the area.

The gates of DLSU will open as early as 5 a.m. on the Sundays of the Bar exams.

A portion of Taft Avenue from Quirino Avenue to Pablo Ocampo Sr. street (formerly Vito Cruz) will be closed to vehicular traffic from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. on exam dates. (See traffic rerouting story on Page 11.)

During the Aug. 28 briefing of personnel for the 2008 Bar exams, Tinga urged them to serve in the “most transparent and the best-run professional exams.”

“Let us do our duty well… that way, the Bar exams will remain to be the most trusted, most honest, most popular,” he said.

It was announced in the Bar briefing that Supreme Court Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura will chair the 2009 Committee on Bar Examinations.

The High Court has adopted guidelines on the personal conduct of examinees and for activities within the perimeter of the venue of the Bar exams.

Stressing that the Bar exams are in the nature of a court proceeding, the SC enjoined all examinees and all other persons within the “perimeter area to observe the same conduct and decorum as they would when attending a court hearing.”

The SC said no noise-making activities of any kind shall be allowed in the perimeter area from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on any of the four Sundays of the Bar exams.

“Alcoholic beverages and any kind of deadly weapon shall be absolutely prohibited within the said area for the duration of the exams,” the SC said.

On the observance of proper decorum, the SC said, “No improper or unbecoming conduct in the perimeter area shall be allowed for the duration of the Bar Examinations, including but not limited to: ‘streaking’ or any other form of exhibitionism; any form of parade; the playing of live or loud music; cheerleading exhibitions; political demonstrations, gambling, and other similar activities that would disrupt the exams.”

At the end of exam time at 5 p.m. in all four Sundays, any conduct or activity within the perimeter area shall be governed and regulated in accordance with the relevant laws and local government ordinances, the SC said.

TESDA shuts down 12 English schools

September 5, 2008

ILOILO City – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) ordered the closure of 12 schools offering English language proficiency courses to Korean students.

These schools have failed to have themselves accredited with TESDA, said Provincial Director Lorena Yunque. These are:

• A+ English Academy
• Educ Language School
• Dream Language Center
• Metro Korea
• GLS in Iloilo
• Darroca Training Center
• Eliteline Learning Center
• Educommunication
• Athena English Language Center
• Paran English Learning Center
• EME International Language Center; and
• Hello World Learning Services.

According to Yunque, in October 5, 2004 TESDA entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Bureau of Immigration, Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the ESL Tour Program – a program for intensive English language training.

The MOA requires mandatory Unified TVET (Technical, Vocational, Educational and Training) Program Registration and Accreditation System (UTPRAS) with TESDA for ESL programs and language training centers.

The MOA seeks to regulate the increasing number of English language centers, schools, camps, or academies operating in Iloilo and the country in general./PN – Iloilo

A Shortage amid the Glut in Nursing Graduates

August 21, 2008

The Philippines has an oversupply of nursing graduates especially with the visa retrogression in the US. But ironically, many government hospitals lack nurses and other health professionals. With low pay and poor working conditions in government hospitals, nursing graduates opt to work abroad or work here even as volunteers with no pay and allowance.

BY RITCHE T. SALGADO
Contributed to Bulatlat
Volume VIII, Number 28, August 17-23, 2008

Jay-R Manzano, 21, is all set for his review. He made sure to wake up early so that he could still go through his notes and not forget the discussion his class had the day before.

Jay-R and his friends, sisters Grethel Ann and Gretchen Mae Tubo, are reviewing for the licensure examination for nurses come late November. Like most of their friends and classmates, they have started their preparation early, the usual being a month before the scheduled exam. They have enrolled at a commercial review center, but by late October they will be undergoing a more intensive review in their school, the University of Cebu.

Despite the effort that they are making, they have already accepted the fact that they may not be able to get their dream job as nurses in the United States of America as soon as they hoped. But they are willing to work as volunteers abroad or even in private hospitals here, with no pay and no allowance.

“Just so we will gain the experience that we will need once the US will start accepting Filipino nurses again,” said Jay-R.

“We know that right now the US is not accepting Filipino nurses because of the (visa) retrogression, but then I am still optimistic that after the elections (in the US) this little obstacle will be lifted, and again they will open their doors for us,” Grethel said.

In order to protect American nurses and other health professionals, the US has set a limit on the number of foreign nurses that will be given access to the US. This created a shortage of nurses and physical therapists in the States and so the US Congress passed H.R. 5924 or the Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act. However, the Hispanic block in the US Congress sets as a condition to passing the bill, the granting of amnesty to Mexican illegal settlers in the US. This created a deadlock in the progress of the bill and in the process, the hiring of foreign-trained nurses decreased, if not stopped.

In an article in The FREEMAN (August 11, 2008), Oscar A. Tuason, administrator of the Cebu Doctors University Hospital, expressed alarm over the decrease in the demand for Filipino nurses in the US. He said that this has a direct effect on the number of enrollees in the nursing program of schools, elaborating that at present most nursing schools are losing students at the rate of five to eight percent.

Tuason cited five reasons for the decrease in demand for Filipino nurses: the worsening quality of graduates, unskilled and inexperienced nurses, attitude problems that include lack of motivation and lack of commitment, signing up with more than one agency, and poor ability in conversational English due to the decline in the standard of education.

Judy Aragones, R.N., PhD., spokesperson of the Cebu chapter of the Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) and a professor at the University of San Carlos, however, expressed disagreement with Tuason regarding the trend in nursing enrollees.

“It is obvious that more and more of our young people are taking up nursing,” Aragones claimed. “There are those whose heart may not be in the profession but they see it as their way out of poverty. Even if the US is closing its doors, there are alternate destinations for our nurses like the Middle East, Singapore, Japan and European countries.”

Aragones, however, maintained that going out of the country for work is not the solution to the country’s economic problems. “I strongly disagree with our government encouraging our people to work abroad. It is the responsibility of our government to take care of our graduates. We are losing skilled and hard working people,” she lamented.

Aragones admitted that the main reason for the decrease, if not stop, in the hiring of foreign-trained nurses is mainly because of the visa retrogression policy of the US. As a consequence, many graduates have found themselves unemployed or under employed; and with schools producing more nursing graduates each year, the health sector in the country is now facing a dilemma in the oversupply of nurses.

“Some of them have to make do with being volunteers, receiving no pay or allowance. Their only consolation is that they would be able to use the certification that they would get from hospitals for possible employment in other countries,” Aragones said.

She admitted that hospitals in Cebu are understaffed. Because they could not afford to hire new nurses, they are forced to accept only volunteers.

“It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that our nurses are employed. To encourage them to stay and serve the country, the government should come up with a good socio-economic package that would include non-monetary compensations,” Aragones said.

She said the government must provide good working conditions, skills development, and such other non-economic benefits, saying that salary-wise the Philippines would not be able to compete.

“The starting pay of our nurses right now, on average, is at P15, 000 ($331) per month. Compare that to the salary they will be getting in the US and other countries (an average of US$20 per hour). This is very small,” she explained.

Jay-R, Grethel and Gretchen are now making efforts to pass the local licensure exam. Soon they will start to process their papers for the US, despite the retrogression. “We know that right now it seems impossible to get a job in the US, but then again, it does not mean that we should also stop trying,” Gretchen said.

Aragones explained that unless the government would do something to encourage health workers to stay in the country, more young people like Jay-R, Grethel and Gretchen would still desire to work in foreign countries like the US. Contributed to Bulatlat

Bawal ang Mahirap Dito

August 13, 2008

Graffiti ito sa may harap na bakod ng Faculty Center sa U.P. Ang kumpletong sinulat sa itim na tinta ay “Bawal ang mahirap dito.  Mahal ang tuition!”  Tamang-tama ang pagkasulat dahil sa panahon ng UPCAT, ang entrance exam sa U.P. Malaman ang sinasaad ng slogan na ito. Hindi na pangmahirap ang U.P. Na kahit makapasa sila ay hindi naman nila kakayanin ang tuition fee.  P300/unit ang pinakamaliit; P1,000/unit ang pinakamalaki. Hindi pa kasama rito ang buhawi ng “other fees,” na halos lahat ng kurso, kahit hindi siyensa at teknolohiya, ay may kaakibat na lab fee.

NI ROLAND TOLENTINO
KULTURANG POPULAR KULTURA
Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 27, August 10-16, 2008

Graffiti ito sa may harap na bakod ng Faculty Center sa U.P. Ang kumpletong sinulat sa itim na tinta ay “Bawal ang mahirap dito.  Mahal ang tuition!”  Tamang-tama ang pagkasulat dahil sa panahon ng UPCAT, ang entrance exam sa U.P.

Malaman ang sinasaad ng slogan na ito. Hindi na pangmahirap ang U.P. Na kahit makapasa sila ay hindi naman nila kakayanin ang tuition fee.  P300/unit ang pinakamaliit; P1,000/unit ang pinakamalaki. Hindi pa kasama rito ang buhawi ng “other fees,” na halos lahat ng kurso, kahit hindi siyensa at teknolohiya, ay may kaakibat na lab fee.

Kapag sinabing bawal, may sinasabing relasyon na may nagbabawal at may pinagbabawalan. Ang nagbabawal ay ang administrasyon ng U.P. na talamak, lampas pa sa mga pinakamahal na pribadong pamantasan, na nagpapatupad ng neoliberalismo sa edukasyon. Lahat ng bagay, kahit walang kinalaman sa investment, ay pinagbabatayan sa computable na cost-benefit analysis.

Kaya kahit na kontra-rasyonalisasyon (bakit mayroon nito sa loob ng isang pamantasan?) at kontra-liberal arts (may kritikal na kakayahan ba ang trabaho rito?) ang pagtatayo ng sandamakmak na call center buildings sa Commonwealth Avenue, kineri pa rin ito ng administrasyon sa pagnanais na makalikom ng P100 milyon kada taon mula sa Ayala Corporation na umupa nito.

Ang pinagbabawalan ay ang mga may kawalan ng titulong makapag-aral sa U.P. Ito ang mahihirap. Na doble paghihiwalay sa mahihirap sa kampus. Una, ang pagtrato sa mahihirap na walang entitlement sa tertiary education mula sa bagong-silang na “national university” na U.P. Pinapapasan sa kanila ang mataas na halaga ng edukasyon, kasama ang mataas na halaga ng pagtira sa kampus sa mga taga-probinsya.

Ikalawa, ang pagtrato sa mahihirap na wala ring entitlement kung sakaling nakapaloob na sila sa U.P., pati ang mga nakatira sa kampus. Kakaiba ang U.P. dahil mayroon itong komunidad sa loob ng kampus.  Sa pagbabago ng ruta ng C-5, ang Palaris na tinitirhan ng maraming bilang ng empleyado, guro at retirado ay mawawala na.

Militante kung magbantay ang SSB, ang militia ng administrasyon, sa mga tao, lalo na sa Academic Oval. May curfew na raw sa loob nito. At pati mga guro ay pinagbabawalan nang tumambay sa lagoon at Sunken Garden lampas alas-dyes ng gabi.

“Ligtas” ang pakiramdam sa kampus dahil nga wala nang tao sa loob nito, matapos ng alas-dyes.  Para itong “kapayapaan ng sementeryo” na bibanggit tungkol sa isang fasistang rehimen. Wala nang pumapalag dahil nga lahat ay pinatay na. Ligtas at mapayapa ang kapaligiran dahil ipinagbabawal ang mismong tao rito.

Ang isinasaad din ng slogan ay afiliasyon ng U.P. sa estado. Na tulad ng ipinagbabawal ng estado, walang politikal na karapatan ang walang ekonomiyang lagay na mamamayan.  Maliban sa dole-out ni Gloria Arroyo ng P500 sa gumagastos ng murang kuryente o pabigas sa mahihirap pero perfect attendance na mag-aaral, walang sustenidong safety net at disenyo para sa mahihirap.

Tulad ng estado, kanya-kanyang paghahanap ng salbasyon sa U.P. Walang inilatag na safety net dahil mas matimbang ang gastos kaysa sa aktwal na benefisyo nito sa unibersidad. At ang turing nga sa mahihirap ay gagastusan pa, kung sakaling makapasok.  Kaya bago sila makapasok, mainam nang magkaroon ng pagpupulisya sa ranggo nito.

Bukid sa slogan na ito, nakapinta rin ang “Tutulan TOFI” (tuition and other fee increases) sa bakod ng Faculty Center, maging sa signboards mula sa Philcoa. Sa College of Law na may tarpaulin sa harap nito ng “100% College of Law,” pinalitan ito ng “1000 TOFI.”

Ang graffiti, siempre, sa punto-de-bista ng administrasyon ay vandalismo o pagyurak sa pribadong pag-aari ng pamantasan. Pero sa walang rekurso sa ofisyal na lagusan ng media, ang graffiti ang media ng paglalahad ng naisantabi. Ang graffiti ay anti-estabilisimento, anti-awtoridad at anti-rehimentasyon.

Kaya tinataguriang vulgar, bastos at pedestriano sa isang banda, at napaka-politikal, hindi angkop na aksyon sa kabilang banda. May reclaiming na ginagawa ang gumagawa ng graffiti, re-claiming dahil hindi naman siya ang lehitimong may-ari nito sa simula pa lamang.  Inaako lamang niya na kanya ang isang bagay na ipinagkakait sa kanya.

Kung ganito, pinagsanib ang mob at politikal na mentalidad na sa unang usapin ay ikinawing din naman sa masa. Walang distinksyon ang politisado at hindi politisadong masa. Ang vandalismo—kasama ang pagsulat sa dingding at pinto ng CR (comfort room), maging sa mesa ng mag-aaral—ay ang rekurso ng naisantabi sa mapanupil na kolektibong lagay.

Kaya rin parating sa laylayan ng poder ng kapangyarihan ang mga graffiti. Sa mesa ng mag-aaral, sa banyo, sa nakakubling dingding, sa madilim na lugar, at iba pa. Na ang trespassing na sabjek na nagva-vandalize ay isa naman talagang nang trespassing na nilalang bago pa man siya mag-vandalize. Sa figura ng aktibista o naetsapwera, matagal na silang nasa laylayan.

Lilikha ng hysterical panic ang administrasyon. Tulad na lamang ng reaksyon ng maraming senior na guro sa pagtapon ng putik at itlog kay General Hermogenes Esperon nang ito ay lumabas sa pinagsalitaang kwarto. Biglang naging Mr. Decorum at Ms. Moral Values ang maraming guro.

Na mapapaisip ka kung sino ang kanilang prinoprotektahan? Bakit sila ang parang tinapunan ng putik at itlog? Bakit may transference ng sama ng loob ni Esperon sa mga gurong umako nito? Hindi kaya sina Mr. and Ms. Moral Universe ay Ms. Chu-chu (sipsip) rin pala?

Ang identifikasyon sa nang-aapi bilang inaapi ay kabahagi ng rasyonalisasyon ng naghaharing uri. May nakitang “kawalan” o minus points sa politikal na pagkilos, na maling kinonekta pa sa kilusan. Anang isa, “Iyan ba ang gusto ninyong mamuno sa atin kung magtagumpay na?”

At mas matimbang itong kawalan para ang i-indict ay ang kumikilos para sa karapatang pantao. Mas lugi ang U.P. o ang imahen nito sa ginawa ng ilang progresibo. Kaya may usapan pang ipapa-expel raw ang mga ito, kailangan daw mag-sorry dahil inilagay sa hiya ang unibersidad.

Dalawa lang naman talaga ang reaksyon sa graffiti. Una ay ang total na indictment nito mula sa aktwal at representatibo ng naghaharing uri. Masama ito dahil hindi na itinuturing na sagrado ang pribadong pag-aari. Ano ang mararamdaman mo kung nakawin ang iyong cellphone o i-scratch ang iyong kotse?

Ikalawa, mula sa aktwal at representatibo ng mga inaaping mga sektor, ang amusement sa batayang lebel dahil mayroong kontra-rasyonalisasyong isinasaad ang graffiti. Pagbabalikwas ang pangunahing tema nito. At pati na rin ang inter-aktibong katangian ng graffiti.

Sa mesa sa klasrum, kapag nauupo ako habang may estudyanteng nag-uulat, binabasa ko ang mga graffiti. May sagutan pa ukol sa mga isyung hindi lubos na tinatalakay sa unibersidad. Itong kahoy na desk at kongkretong pader ang nagiging rekurso para mabigkas ang kolektibong hinanaing, at kolektibo rin itong mabasa.

Sumusulat ang isang tao ng graffiti dahil naetsapwera siya. At ang tangi niyang makakausap ay ang desk at pader. Pero siya na nagsusulat ay hindi nag-iisa. Nagsusulat siya, may media at espasyo siyang pampubliko. Ang kanyang lagay ay may kaakibat na kolektibong dumadanas din nito. Kaya ang mambabasa at tumutunghay sa graffiti ay may kolektibong posisyon na pinanggalingan. Kaya gets niya kaagad ang sinasabi ng graffiti.

Ang nagustuhan ko sa slogan na “Bawal ang mahihirap” ay ang pagsapol nito sa kasalukuyang pagdanas sa neoliberalismo ng imperialismo. Na imbis na isulat ay “Imperialismo ibagsak,” ang pagtuon ng pansin sa bawal ay pagtukoy sa kolektibong agam-agam at aspirasyon.

Aspirasyon na makapasok ang maraming mahihirap na pumasa sa UPCAT; agam-agam na nakabatay sa moral panic na paano naman “ako” kung makakapasok ang ibang mahihirap? Ang ginagawa ng slogan ay itawag-pansin sa pagbubura ng U.P. sa mahihirap bilang lehitimong kasapi ng pamayanan nito.

Pero sa kabilang banda, kailangan din ng U.P. ang mahihirap bilang paratihang kaiba (other) sa kanyang itinataguyod na gitnang uring subhetibismo. Kung walang jologs, walang pangangailangan sa SSB at iba pang para-militar na aktibidad sa kampus. Kung walang mahihirap, paano magiging exklusibo ang karanasan sa Chocolate Kiss at Cordi Café?

Sa maliit na uniberso ng U.P., kailangan ang pagmimintina sa presence ng mahihirap para maitaguyod ang kalakarang neoliberalismo. Kung walang squatter sa campus, walang dahilan kung bakit hindi mamaximisa ang idle properties para sa sarili nitong interes.  Sino ang tunay na dapat makinabang sa mga ari-arian ng U.P.?

Kung walang mahihirap na estudyante, walang patagong kabalitaktakan ang mayayamang estudyante. Sa huli, ang ipinagbabawal ay hindi rin lang mahihirap na tao, kundi ang karanasan sa kahirapan. At ito ang fantasy-ideal ng U.P., na magmukha siyang global university.

Kaya ang kontexto ng pagsulat ay tiyak na makakapagpagalit sa administrasyon na nagpapapinta ng mga lumang buildings sa academic oval. Biro mo, kapipinta pa lang ay vina-vandalize na ng graffiti! Ang pagtingin na pribadong pag-aari ang bagong-pintang bakod ang tampok na rasyonal ng administrasyon.

At dahil ang rasyonalisasyon ay pribadong pag-aari ang bakod, hindi na rin ito nahihiwalay na pagturing na pribadong pag-aari ang U.P.  Ang vina-vandalize ay ang U.P. mismo, at ang bagong representasyon na ito ay pribadong pag-aari ng administrasyong humahawak nito.

Sa pamamagitan ng graffiti, pinaluluwag, kahit sa isang maliit na lunan sa isang maliit na panahon (hanggang sa mapintahan muli ang bakod), ang paghawak ng administrasyon.  Maging ang rasyonalisasyon nitong sumasakal sa maraming nakapasok at nagigiit ng kanilang pang-uring entitlement ditto.

Sa isang sandali, pati ang administrasyon ay kailangang iutos na burahin ang matagal na nilang minamaniobrang mabura—dobleng erasure kumbaga: ang akto ng pag-gatekeep nila laban sa mahihirap, at ang akto ng pagbura nila ng graffiti na tumatawag pansin dito.  Hanggang sa iba pang sandali na muling susulpot ang graffiti sa ibang panahon at espasyo. Bulatlat

Teachers score DepEd execs’ huge allowances

August 12, 2008

By Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:35:00 08/12/2008

MANILA, Philippines—Who got how much?

The 15,000-strong Alliance of Concerned Teachers has joined non-teaching personnel at the Department of Education in demanding the agency name the executives who benefited from the over P150 million in controversial “extra duty allowance” (EDA) over the past three years.

They made the call over the weekend, demanding “full transparency” in the perks and privileges enjoyed by DepEd executives.

The EDA is not covered by department guidelines and therefore has no legal basis, according to agency insiders.

Documents leaked to the Philippine Daily Inquirer showed the EDA has been a regular feature of DepEd seminar and training programs:

During the April 14-16 “jury duty for eligibility check” of 50 DepEd bidders for the construction of various school buildings nationwide, P117,000 was earmarked for EDA (out of the total activity budget of P139,700). Among the EDA recipients were Assistant Secretary for Finance Jesus Galvan, vice chair of the DepEd bids and awards committee, and panel members Annabelle Ramos and Deogracias Genito Jr., as well as Adonis Barraquias, chief of the BAC secretariat, among others.

Of the P9.16-million budget for the nationwide Teachers Induction Program, at least P1.12 million was allocated for EDA by Dr. Beatriz Torno, executive director of the DepEd-attached Teacher Education Council.

Of the nearly P1-million budget for the Personnel and Professional Enhancement Program, P136,000 was set aside for EDA by Zaida Azcueta, head of DepEd’s Staff Development Division and Human Resource Development Service.

Of the P682,580 budget for the Library Management Training for Regions 3, 4-A and 4-B, P115,000 was allocated to EDA.

For the Field Testing of Basic Administrative Service Improvement Course 1 for Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, Caraga and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, P178,000 was set aside for EDA.

In the Bureau of Elementary Education’s Every Child a Reader training program, which has a budget of P4.38 million, P760,000 was set aside for EDA.

In the P8.75-million basic course for new “mobile teachers” of the Bureau of Alternative Learning System, P238,000 was allocated to the EDA of trainers and facilitators.

In a statement, ACT also asked the DepEd to “involve independent teacher groups in the formulation of guidelines to provide a genuine check against possible abuses by management.”

Earlier, ACT chair Antonio Tinio said they were “outraged that while some DepEd executives helped themselves to up to P50 million (a year) in unlawful allowances, nearly P700 million in allowances of public school teachers remained unpaid.”

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus last week said all EDA payments had been suspended as “part of the streamlining operations of the department.”

Lapus also directed Teodosio Sangil Jr., undersecretary for finance and administration, to come up with EDA guidelines.

Sangil said without the guidelines, EDA was “like a wayward bus, a bus without a driver.”

He said the EDA system was in place when he and Lapus joined the DepEd in 2006.

During the past three years alone, the DepEd allocated over P3.43 billion for its various training programs.

For taking part, however briefly, in department-sponsored seminars and training programs, an undisclosed number of DepEd officials have been charging up to P15,000 a day in EDA.

Some top agency officials attend an average of four to eight training programs a month where they receive from P10,000 to P15,000 for merely making opening or closing remarks, said DepEd insiders.

“To think that delivering a brief speech or sharing their views on DepEd-related topics are part of their official functions,” they said.

Even ordinary DepEd employees are afflicted with the EDA “virus,” according to a DepEd section head, citing as an example “a casual employee here, with a P6,000 basic monthly pay, made a total of P72,000 in just three weeks by serving in the secretariat staff for three activities.”

P8.9M labor charge filed vs USANT, Ortega couple

August 5, 2008


ORTEGA

IRIGA CITY — At least five former rank-and-file employees of the University of St. Anthony in this city have filed a joint complaint before the Sub-Regional Arbitration Branch of the National Labor Relations Commission in Naga City for illegal dismissal, non-payment of salaries, holiday pay and other benefits, monetary claim, moral exemplary and nominal damages,

all in the sum of P8,959,293.08, excluding ten percent of whatever monetary awards the complainants are entitled to as attorney’s fees.

Susan M. Bance, Arlene C. Dimaiwat, Jean O. Velasco, Nancy M. Aguirre, and Hazel A. Lobetania who held the positions variedly as early as 1982 and 1994 as senior accounts officer and college instructor, accounting clerk, classroom teacher, accounts officers, and secretary in the office of the vice-president for finance and later as secretary to the president of the University of Saint Anthony (USANT), respectively, have filed their complaints against the university, its chairman and president Atty. Santiago Ortega, Jr., and Victoria SD. Ortega, wife of Santiago Jr, and VP for finance as respondents.

Insofar as respondent Victoria Ortega is concerned, the complaint said she was particularly impleaded in the complaint for being allegedly personally involved and responsible as well in the transactions that led to Lobetania’s dismissal from the service.

The complainants claimed that their dismissal was not only illegal, the same being both procedurally and substantially infirmed, but also done in bad faith and in an oppressive and humiliating manner.

In an interview with this reporter, Ortega Jr. said “we have documentary evidence to show that they (the complainants) committed estafa, to show that one of them stole millions of pesos.” In fact, he added, such documents have already been forwarded to the labor department.

Ortega also said that the accusation that the school administration refused to give the complainants their benefits is untrue. “May mga pinirmahan sinda diyan na pay slip kaya how can they deny that,” he asked adding that such matter has already been presented by him to the labor department.

In the case of Lobetania, it was alleged “that her separation from work is the result of the ugly marital conflict involving spouses Atty. Santiago Ortega Jr. and Mrs. Victoria SD Ortega that aggravated into serious money and family problems.” Caught in the crossfire, the joint complaint said, are complainant Lobetania and the other complainants who were subsequently dismissed from the service for allegedly baseless causes.

They also accused Ortega Jr. of subsequently filing various “unfounded criminal complaints” as an obvious afterthought, motivated by bad faith and ill-will.

They said it was Ortega Jr.’s alleged hideous manner of harassing and dissuading them from pursuing their labor cases because he could not accept the fact that ordinary persons like them would have the courage to stand up and fight for their rights by filing the consolidated labor case.

The complainants pray that judgment be rendered declaring their dismissal as illegal, holding the respondents responsible therefore, and commanding the respondents to reinstate them to their former work without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to pay their full back wages, and their other benefit or monetary equivalent computed from the date they were terminated up to their actual reinstatement.

On his alleged marital problem, the university president said he is not the only married man who faces such problem. “I do not see relevance of the issue on my misunderstanding with my wife with their (complainants’) estafa cases, getting money from my school, and stealing millions,” Ortega quipped.(BicolMail)

CHEd head wants public colleges run like businesses

August 4, 2008

By Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 10:02:00 08/04/2008

MANILA, Philippines—All 111 state universities and colleges, or SUCs, nationwide should be run like corporations, according to the new head of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

By “promoting corporatization, the SUCs can be freed from the shackles of government bureaucratic provisions,” said CHEd officer in charge Nona Ricafort.

Citing Republic Act No. 8292, the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997, Ricafort in a statement said SUCs were “empowered to engage in business ventures, raise endowments and other income-generating activities.”

But militant teachers and students see it otherwise.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers chair Antonio Tinio said, “Her support for the continued corporatization of SUCs can only mean higher costs that will push tertiary education beyond the reach of even more students.”

Alvin Peters, president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, and Ken Ramos, chair of the Anakbayan youth group, echoed Tinio.

“By announcing corporatization as a cornerstone of her leadership, it is evident Filipino students and their parents shouldn’t expect much in the way of meaningful and much-needed reforms in tertiary education,” Peters said.

Contrary to Ricafort’s claim, Peters said corporatization “will further drive the profit-oriented nature of education in the country.”

Ramos said corporatization was “tantamount to the state’s abandonment of its role of ensuring an education for all. It promotes the notion that government’s role in the delivery of basic social services is limited to subsidizing a select few.”

But in a phone interview, Ricafort explained corporatization “does not mean we’ll push for the privatization of SUC-owned properties.”

“With the country’s food security problem in mind, we’re seriously considering converting idle SUC lands into agricultural estates. We’ll put them to good use,” Ricafort told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net).

Conducting an inventory of idle SUC lands was one of the commission’s priorities, she said.

Youths slam decline in education subsidy

July 28, 2008

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:46:00 07/28/2008

MANILA, Philippines—Did you know that the Arroyo Administration spends only P12 on every public school student per day—or P2 less than what it allots for the purchase of an M-16 rifle bullet.

That, militants say, is the sad truth about government priorities.

“The truth is, government subsidy to education has been on a consistent decline since [President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] came to power in 2001,” the League of Filipino Students and the Anakbayan youth group said in a joint statement Sunday.

“In 2001, government spent a measly 3.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product on education. The amount, which already falls short of the United Nations prescription of a minimum 6 percent of the GDP, dropped to 2.4 percent,” they said.

For LFS and Anakbayan leaders Vencer Crisostomo and Ken Ramos, “a bleak future has become the legacy of the Arroyo administration.”

Crisostomo, Ramos and other leaders of left-leaning youth organizations are to raise the issue in Monday’s protest rallies to coincide with Ms Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address.

“For the past seven years, education has become less accessible to Filipino students as a result of the rising cost of tuition and other school fees. Besides the worsening crisis in the education sector, we also face rising food and fuel prices, bringing along with them the cost of other basic commodities,” Crisostomo and Ramos said in the statement.

They said that since 2001, the national average tuition rate had risen by almost 70 percent.

“In the National Capital Region, it has risen by 118.53 percent,” they said.

“But it is not only rising tuition and school fees that students have to cope up with. Students and their parents have to bear the brunt of the economic crisis,” they added.

Thus, it is no longer a surprise that more and more students are dropping out of school each year, they said. Jerry E. Esplanada(PDI)

PUP suspends classes in college level

July 28, 2008

MANILA, Philippines—The Polytechnic University of the Philippines early Monday announced the suspension of classes in the collegiate level, a radio report said.

School officials said the class suspension was announced in order for students to hear the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a dzMM report said.

On Sunday, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said in a text message that due to “enhanced monsoon rains,” elementary and high school classes for Monday have been suspended in 13 provinces in Luzon, including Metro Manila.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council ordered the suspension of classes for both the elementary and high school levels in the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Benguet, Mountain Province, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Metro Manila.

The NDCC made it clear that the suspension of classes in these regions was not related in any way to the President’s SONA, the dzMM said in another report. With a report from Katherine Evangelista, INQUIRER.net

================================

My Take:

Wow!  This government is so desperate they will do anything just to have an audience to their SONA.

Editorial Cartoon: SONA 2008 (Bagsak #05)

July 22, 2008

Education – F

‘Rise Up!’

July 21, 2008

PHOTO ESSAY
BY RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 24, July 20-26, 2008

Anger. Student leaders from various colleges and universities present their reasons for calling for Arroyo’s ouster. They simultaneously tore apart papers with Arroyo’s face.


Alternative street classes.
Students listen to a youth leader in one of the discussion groups at Plaza Miranda

Black. Graffiti artists use black ink for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s face; it depicts all the “evil things” she has brought the nation.

Different music genre, same sentiments. Rock and hip-hop bands perform to call for Arroyo’s removal. Water containers are used as percussion instruments.

Defiance. Blocked by police car patrols, protesters take the road leading to Nicanor Reyes Street. The front liners push with their bodies against the policemen’s shields.

Hand gestures. Students give a thumbs-down sign to policemen blocking them, and raised fists against the occupant of Malacañang.

Students Walk Out, ‘Rise Up for Meaningful Change’

July 21, 2008

More than 2,000 college and high school students walked out of their classes, July 18 to protest the worsening economic crisis. They vowed to conduct more of these actions until Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo steps down.

BY JEFFREY OCAMPO
Contributed to Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 24, July 20-26, 2008

On July 18, more than 2,000 students walked out of their classes and gathered at the Plaza Miranda in Manila to protest the worsening economic crisis

The Youth for Truth and Accountability Now! (Youth ACT Now!) called for class walk-outs in various universities and urged the students to “rise up for meaningful change.”

Vencer Crisostomo, chairperson of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) declared that July 18 was a “day of uprising.”

Students from the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman and Manila, University of Santo Tomas (UST), University of the East (UE)-Manila, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Adamson University, Philippine Normal University (PNU), Philippine Christian University (PCU), Jose Rizal University (JRU), Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU) and other universities and schools in the National Capital Region (NCR) participated in the protest action.

Students held simultaneous activities and programs in their respective universities before joining together for the protest action in the afternoon. About 700 students of UP Diliman assembled in Palma Hall lobby and encouraged their fellow students to join the protest action. PUP students, meanwhile, held noise barrage and snake rallies within their campus. UST students wore yellow headgears as they persuaded the Thomasian community to join them.

Nineteen students from JRU, who were suspended for organizing a noise barrage the day before, led their schoolmates to the activity.

High school students from Culiat, Sauyo and Quirino High Schools also joined the activity.

By 12 noon, the students had gathered at two assembly points in Kalaw and España. They proceeded to Plaza Miranda for the main program.

State of the youth

Kabataang Pinoy Spokesperson Dion Carlo Cerrafon said that the Filipino youth, despite being drowned by a decadent culture, must be informed of the economic and political situation of the country. The youth, he said, is an important part of the people’s movement for social emancipation.

Vijae Alquisola, national president of the College Editors of the Philippines (CEGP), pointed out that the Philippine educational system is not developing the youth to serve the country in the future.

Biyaya Quizon, national chairperson of the Student Christian Movement (SCM) said the youth are also victims of the Arroyo government’s terrorism. She recalled the case of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan, students of UP Diliman who were abducted by alleged military men. Quizon said that Arroyo and the military should be held liable for more cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other rights abuses.

Unresolved economic crisis

Ken Ramos, national chairperson of Anakbayan, said that the economic crisis will not be resolved since Arroyo is not doing anything to alleviate the situation.

In the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, 60 percent of respondents said they are dissatisfied by Arroyo’s performance.

Ramos cited Arroyo’s imposition of ‘anti-people policies’ such as Reformed-Value Added Tax (R-VAT and Oil Deregulation Law and her ‘puppetry to the government of the United States” as the reasons why the people want to oust her from her position.

Crisostomo urged the youth to integrate with other sectors of the society, particularly the workers and farmers, to form a ‘unified force that will end the Arroyo regime.’

Support from other sectors

Elmer Labog of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May 1st Movement) told the crowd that the youth will always be the hope of the nation. He stressed the need for the youth to hone themselves to be able to serve the country in the future.

Representative Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna Partylist (People First) shared the experiences of the youth movement during the First Quarter Storm of 1970. He said that there is a need to take advantage of the economic crisis the country is experiencing to provide the people with “political education” that will encourage them to “act and aim for fundamental change in the society.” The significance of the youth movement, according to him, is an indispensable element to the people’s struggle for social change.

Other forms of protest

Cultural performances were also staged. UP Repertory Company, Sining na Naglilingkod sa Bayan (Sinagbayan) and local band form UE called Antigo were among the performers.

A San Francisco-based Filipino-American hip-hop group ALAY (Active Leadership to Advance Youth) demanded ‘access to higher education, dignified labor and true justice.’ They encouraged students to serve the people and fight “imperialistic countries (referring to the United States).

A group of graffiti artists from the College of Fine Arts of UP Diliman spray-painted the walls and streets as they marched with the protesters.

Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (Karatula or Young Artists for Genuine Freedom) said that “while popular culture is being used by the state (i.e. the government) as a way to subjugate the minds of the Filipino youth, the progressive culture can counter this and can be used as an educational tool and ‘catalyst for social change’.”

After the program in Plaza Miranda, the student marched their way to Mendiola. The Manila Police District (MPD) quickly set up a barricade at Morayta (Nicanor Reyes Street) to prevent the students from reaching their destination.

According to Maj. Virgilio Bag-id of the MPD, more than 200 police were deployed to “maintain peace and order.”

The students held a brief program before retreating to Espana. Ramos warmed the Arroyo administration that they will be coming back with more massive and intensified protest actions.

The students then marched along España and occupied the stretch between M. de la Fuente and Vicente Cruz intersections to conduct a noise barrage. They were joined by members of the Migrante International and Confederation for the Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage).

The “alternative street classes” continued as the students formed discussion groups while speakers persuaded the motorists to blow their horns as a sign of solidarity.

The announcement that there would be a P3 increase in diesel by midnight caused uproar among the militants, passengers and pedestrians alike.

Coincidentally, a Shell tanker was passing along España. A group of students stopped the tanker and wrote “Oil Deregulation Law, Ibasura” (Scrap Oil Deregulation Law), “R-VAT sa Langis, Alisin” (Remove R-VAT on Oil), and “Oust GMA” all around the tanker. They eventually let the tanker go after the driver blew his horn to sympathize with the protesters.

Youth ACT Now! declared that the protest action was successful and said that there will be more protests until Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on July 28. Bulatlat

Students protest vs. economic crisis

July 19, 2008

BAGUIO CITY — A thousand students marched the streets of Baguio last Thursday, July 10, airing one grievance after another under the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, promising that this will mark the beginning of massive youth protests in the city.


Let’s take this outside! Students walk out of their classes and into the streets to protest against the economic crisis. Photo by Myko Franco Chiong/NORDIS

Decked in red, the students pushed to Malcolm Square despite the rain and attempts of police to stop and block them – at least thrice in Session Road and Magsaysay Avenue. The youth protest was held as part of a national day of action calling on the Filipino people to fight poverty and corruption and remove Arroyo.

“Today, the youth walk the talk. The crisis is unbearable. We cannot afford to be confined within the halls of the academe when our future is at stake,” said Cori Alessa Co of the National Union of Students of the Philippines. Co explains that the participation of a thousand students is a strong statement of their resurging passion to serve the people. “In this terrible situation, we choose to take this outside, into the streets,” she said.


Photo by Myko Franco Chiong/NORDIS

Also in the march, Anakbayan believes that if the weekly trend of oil price hikes continue and 50-centavo fare hikes are approved, a student will need P392 monthly for transportation alone. They say it’s like sacrificing two meals per month compared to the previous P6.00 student fare.

“We need structural reforms, not cover-up solutions like subsidies for individual families,” says Sloan Ramos, spokesperson of Anakbayan. “What we call for is the scrapping of the Oil Deregulation Law so that the government can control oil prices in the country. Subsidies are worthless if prices of basic goods like rice are too high for the public to afford anyway,” Ramos adds.


Photo by Myko Franco Chiong/NORDIS

Meanwhile, College Editors Guild of the Philippines chair Anjo Cerdeña says students and their parents are burdened further with yearly tuition and other-fees increases atop the rising prices of basic needs. “With the prices of basic commodities at an all-time high, our parents’ savings would not be enough to cover our schooling,” he said.

Cerdeña said if the Arroyo administration is sincere in giving priority to education, it would “not just speak but act for a tuition moratorium at all levels, in both public and private schools.” More so, he said Arroyo must resolve the economic crisis before it’s too late, “before students drop-out because they have no money left for school projects and other needs.”

John Silverio Saligbon, University of the Philippines Baguio Student Council chair, promised to intensify the protest in the coming weeks. He claims there is no way out of poverty under a president whose main agenda is political survival. “There is no stopping the people, toughened by the youth, in removing a morally bankrupt government and replacing it with a pro-people program of, for and by the people,” he said.# Pau Pamintuan-Riva(NorDis)

TESDA attracts enrollees in “wrong” courses

July 19, 2008

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Care-giving course continues to attract students despite a slump in employability of its graduates making it a major blunder in the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

In a Kapihan sa Benguet where TESDA Provincial Director Francisco B. Jucar was in the panel of discussants, he underscored the need to redirect the choices of trainees to more marketable courses like welding and slaughtering.

Jucar said many enroll in care-giving because of the prospects of getting a higher pay abroad. He said, however, there is a big market for Filipino welders abroad.

TESDA’s mandate includes the seeking of jobs through domestic and international market intelligence report to pinpoint specific job requirements. It shall find the right people who can be trained to fit the jobs in partnership with non-government organizations, social welfare agencies, school and community organizations.

TESDA also seeks to train people using standards of quality for technical vocational education and training (TVET) developed in consultation with various industry sectors. This pro-active matching process contributes to the best job-skills fit, according to the TESDA Direction.

As of December 2007, TESDA national records show that some 179 welders with both gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) qualifications have been placed abroad. They are now working in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Russia, Australia, and Korea.

A welder gets P500 per day in the locality while he could earn as much as P20,000 abroad, according to Jucar.

Jucar laments, however that there is a limited training provider in welding and slaughtering. While TESDA-Cordillera opens opportunities for welding trainers, it sends its slaughtering trainees to Pampanga in Region III.

Other training courses for blue-collar jobs abroad include other construction-related skills masonry and carpentry; bar-tending; and seamanship.

Jucar encouraged the youth to avail of scholarships in cookery, bar-tending; slaughtering; food trades; welding and heavy equipment operation. These are equally commanding a high employment rate here and abroad, Jucar said.

He cautioned, however, for youth to stay in the country because if all of them leave the country to the older generation, it would not be good for the economy as well.

TESDA also focuses on increasing productivity of implemented training programs by assisting individuals or groups who prefer to go into micro-business, small and medium enterprises of entrepreneurship training.

TESDA is a member of the Alay Lakad Council of Benguet, which focuses on youth development harnessing private sector resources. # Lyn V. Ramo(NorDis)

Sam Milby is DepEd’s new youth spokesman

July 19, 2008

By Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 09:49pm (Mla time) 07/18/2008

MANILA, Philippines—Instead of a math wiz or a National Achievement Test topnotcher, the Department of Education (DepEd) has tapped another celebrity as the agency’s new youth spokesperson: Fil-Am film and TV actor Sam Milby.

The DepEd will formally announce Milby’s inclusion in its pool of youth role models in next September’s national leadership training for student government officers at Teachers Camp in Baguio City.

Milby (real name: Samuel Lloyd L. Milby) was “recruited” by director Joey Pelaez of the DepEd’s Center for Students and Co-Curricular Affairs office, according to Secretary Jesli A. Lapus.

Aside from his popularity, “Sam was chosen because he has no bad record and he could inspire the youth with his talents. He could help the DepEd a lot,” Pelaez explained.

The 24-year-old Milby is the youngest child of Lloyd Milby, an entrepreneur from Dayton, Ohio, and Elsie Lacia, a native of Tago, Surigao del Sur.

Sam, a former ice skating contest medalist, grew up in Troy, Ohio. Along with his family, he had visited the Philippines several times before. But in his March 2005 return to Manila, he decided to pursue a showbiz and modeling career.

After a 49-day stint at the ABS-CBN hit TV show Pinoy Big Brother, he appeared in over a dozen TV shows and co-starred in at least four hit movies.

“We’ve agreed he’d be doing volunteer work,” said Pelaez.

Asked about Milby’s talent fee, the CSCA official said it would be “insignificant” and “not the usual industry rate.”

Pelaez described the actor as “kind and very down to earth … He has no attitude problem.”

Other DepEd spokespersons include theater actor and recording star Sam Concepcion, GMA-7 mainstay Dingdong Dantes, singer Yeng Constantino, whiz kid Shaira Luna, and former teen heartthrob Onemig Bondoc.

The late actor Rico Yan was the education department’s first spokesman.

According to Lapus, they were “exploring the possibility” of naming popular young actress and model KC Concepcion ambassador of the department’s Adopt-a-School program.

The department had earlier named boxing hero Manny Pacquiao as alternative learning system (ALS) envoy.

Lapus said they would “ask him again to help promote the program,” defined by the DepEd as a “parallel learning system that provides a viable alternative to the existing formal education instruction.”

When interviewed, Lapus said they were also considering tapping the services of popular comedian Bayani Agbayani.

Lapus bumped into the Agbayani couple during his return flight to Manila from the United States where he took a short vacation.

Meanwhile, several celebrities will share their entrepreneurial success stories in next week’s Teen Go Negosyo conference-workshop of the DepEd, also at Teachers Camp.

They include actors Marvin Agustin and Dominic Ochoa, owners and operators of the Sumo Sam restaurant and Thumbs Up ice cream network, respectively, as well as Anthony Pangilinan (The Master’s Lighthouse Foundation), Allana Montelibano and Happy Ongpauco (Bed & Breakfast Boutique), and Crystalle Henares (Belo Essentials).

The CSCA had also invited Regine Tolentino (Regine’s Boutique) and Vina Morales (Ystilo Salon) to participate in the forum.

Over 2,000 public and private high school students, out-of-school youth and educators are expected to attend the four-day event, a joint project of the CSCA, Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, Office of the Presidential Consultant on Entrepreneurship (PCE), the trade department’s Philippine Trade Training Center, and TMLF.

With its theme “Young Entrepreneurs Taking Charge,” the conference-workshop aims to “prepare the students to take charge of their future by taking on active and responsible roles in entrepreneurial endeavors, and inspire high school students and OSYs to consider entrepreneurship as a career and initiate them into entrepreneurial challenges.”

During the event, awards will be given to the most outstanding microentrepreneurs and most inspiring student entrepreneurs.

In a message, Lapus said “creativity and ingenuity are indispensable traits of an entrepreneur and these are natural to the Filipino.”

“Our students have the talent and the imagination; all they need is encouragement. Ultimately, this is what Teen NeGOsyo is all about: encouraging our youth to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and pursue their brilliant and innovative ideas that will create an impact on our country’s progress,” he said, adding “one is never too young to give birth to an idea.”

Presidential Consultant for Entrepreneurship Joey A. Concepcion, meanwhile, said “the young ones, or at least those who are still young at heart, have the passion, creativity and drive to become the future entrepreneurial icons of our country.”

“They already have the optimistic, winning, can-do attitude which we have been advocating for. All they need now are the right mentors to lead them towards entrepreneurial success,” said Concepcion, also PCE founding trustee and president.

(PDI)

========================================

My Take:

How on hell did the DepEd decided to pick this person to be the children’s spokesperson?  Demonyo.  Spokesperson ng mga bata (remember mga bata ang sakop ng DepEd), ay isang taong lumaking hiwalay sa kultura ng ating bansa.  Tapos babayaran pa nila yan ha?

Saka bakit may spokesperson?  Para saan?  Anong mga isyung pambata at pang-edukasyon ang alam ni Sam Milby, at anng mga kalutasan ang kanyang isasagot sa mga problemang namumutiktik sa sistema ng ating batayan at sekundaryong edukasyon?

This only shows that the Dep Edp personalities are ill-witted.  Kaya naman siguro kahit mga librong pambata lang e batbat pa ng mga kamalian.  Bwisit!

Bulnerable sa kampus

July 17, 2008

Kenneth Roland A. Guda

NAKITA sa dalawang prominenteng kaso ng gang rape ng dalawang babaing estudyante ng PUP (Politeknikong Unibersidad ng Pilipinas) sa Sta. Mesa at UPHS (University of the Perpetual Help System) sa Cavite kung gaano kabulnerable ang kababaihan sa sekuwal na atake sa loob ng kanilang mga kampus.

Pebrero 14 ginahasa diumano ng pinaghihinalaang mga kaeskuwela niya ang estudyante sa Cavite, pero kamakailan lang niya napag-alamang ikinalat pala ng mga salarin ang isang bidyo ng panggagahasa.

Samantala, sa PUP, noong Hunyo 25 at 26 diumano ginahasa ng humigit-kumulang 15 kaeskuwela ang freshman na estudyante sa loob mismo ng kampus. Ayon sa biktima, binidyo rin diumano ng mga salarin ang panggagahasa sa kanya.

Sa dalawang kaso, nakitang kumpiyansa ang mga salarin na hindi sila mananagot sa krimen kahit pa makita ang kanilang mga mukha sa bidyo. Para sa Gabriela, militanteng organisasyong pangkababaihan, ipinapamalas lamang ng dalawang kasong ito kung gaano kahina ang sistema ng hustisya, laluna sa mga kaso ng kababaihang biktima ng abuso.

Banta sa eskuwela

Bulnerable ang kababaihan sa pang-aabuso sa kapwa mga kaeskuwela sa UPHS na may kumpiyansang hindi sila mananagot sa panggagahasa. Pebrero 14 nang niyaya diumano ng mga kaeskuwela ang 17-taong-gulang na biktima sa isang piging sa labas ng kampus. Nilasing ang biktima at saka ginahasa ng apat na kalalakihang pawang menor de edad.

Ang masama pa, napag-alaman ng biktima sa isa pang kaeskuwela na kumakalat sa internet ang bidyo ng krimen. Sinabi pa ng kanyang ama na nakita at nakabili pa siya ng kopya ng bidyo sa tindahan ng piniratang mga DVD sa Quiapo.

Sa PUP naman, wala umanong pasok noong Hunyo 25, pero nagkita-kita pa rin ang mga magkakaeskuwela, kasama ang biktima, sa klasrum. Pinainom ng mga kaeskuwela niya ang biktima ng di-pa-matukoy na droga at saka ginahasa. Naulit pa umano ang panggagahasa kinabukasan.

Hulyo 3 nang pasukin ng nakasibilyang mga pulis, kasama ang midya, ang isang klasrum sa PUP. Kasama ang biktima, pinosasan, inaresto nang walang mandamyento at mistulang ipinarada sa kampus ang mga salarin. Ayon sa mga saksi, hindi itinuro ng biktima ang hinuling mga estudyante. Kinumpirma lamang ng pulis batay sa pangalan nila.

Kinumpirma ng mediko-legal na eksaminasyon sa biktima na ginahasa nga siya.

Imbestigasyon

Samantala, iginigiit ng pulisya na isang underground fraternity ang nagpasimuno ng panggagahasa. Sinabi ni Sta. Mesa Police Station Chief Superintendent Jimmy Tiu na sinabi sa kanila ito ng biktima. Ngunit hanggang sa pagkakasulat ng artikulo, hindi makumpirma ang ipormasyong ito.

Kung kaya panawagan ngayon ng Gabriela Women’s Party na masusing imbestigahan ang kaso at huwag magpadalusdalos. Ayon kay Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza, “Kailangang tiyakin ang mabilisan at masinsing imbestigayon ng pulisya at ng PUP University Committee sa kaso ng gang rape sa PUP. Dapat managot ang mga salarin.”

Iginiit din ni Maza na tiyaking maging “masinop at hindi padaskul-daskol” ang mga pulisya sa imbestigasyon lalupa’t pawang mga minor de edad ang mga sangkot at apektado.

Nagbuo ng fact-finding team ang administrasyon ng PUP para imbestigahan ang kaso, laluna’t nangyari ito sa loob ng kampus. Ayon kay Dr. Dante Guevarra, pangulo ng PUP, “Ito ang dahilan kung bakit nilikha ko ang isang fact-finding committee – para tingnan nang malalim ang problema na nakakaapekto hindi lamang sa loob ng komunidad ng PUP kundi sa buong akademikong komunidad din.”

Pero hindi basta-basta gustong palusutin ng Gabriela ang administrasyon ng PUP. Ayon kay Maza, “Hindi dapat makalimutang may pananagutan rin ang administrasyon ng PUP lalupa’t naganap ito sa loob mismo ng kampus.”

Sinabi ng Gabriela na repleksiyon lamang ang aksiyon ng mga salarin ng namamayaning pagtingin sa kababaihan bilang seksuwal na kasangkapan. Repleksiyon din ang dalawang kaso ng kainutilan ng sistema ng hustisya at kung papaano nagiging kampante ang mga kriminal na gumawa ng krimen dahil sa mahinang sistema ng hustisya.

Bilang panimulang hakbang, iminungkahi ni Maza na palakasin sa mga kampus ang “Women and Gender Desks.” “Magiging malaking tulong ang mga naturang tanggapan para tiyakin ang proteksiyon, counselling at pagbibigay hustisya sa mga kababaihang estudyanteng biktima ng sexual harassment, panggagahasa at pangmomolestiya,” sabi pa ni Maza.

May ulat sina Jean Campos, Rodalyn Capilo at Mary Rose Retrita(PinoyWeekly)

Student’s movement commends CBCP stand on economic crisis

July 13, 2008

MANILA, July 12, 2008—As they joined the students’ walkout last July 10, members of the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) thanked the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for finally “breaking up their silence” about the current economic and political crises facing the country today.

In a statement sent to CBCP News, Biyaya Quizon, SCMP president, said that the members and officers of their group commend the CBCP leadership, through its president Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo, D.D., for speaking about social justice and the moral and just demands of the impoverished.

“We believe, however, that there should be greater actions to show that Christians are not silent and are taking an active stand on all these issues,” Quizon said.

SCMP also asked, not only the CBCP, but other religions as well to declare July 28, the day when Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will deliver her 7th State of the Nation Address, a national day of prayer and action for justice, and called on all Christian students to “heed the call of God’s suffering people.”

“We should combine prayer and action, and journey with our people towards a new Exodus,” Quizon ended her statement.

Meanwhile, during the July 10 student protest, the young lay leader lambasted Arroyo’s impermanent solutions to the current social and economic problems that the Filipino people face today.

“It can only do as much like giving alms. Tomorrow, the poor will think again how to survive from hunger and poverty,” laments Quizon.

She also said that instead of heeding the suffering of the people, the Arroyo government insults them more with its actions and statements.

It’s easy for Malacañang to say that it cannot allow another wage increase now, but it cannot stop oil companies from increasing oil prices! It cannot bend its policies towards our people’s demands, while it wholeheartedly allows laws such as the Oil Deregulation to be implemented to the poor people’s demise,” Quizon exclaimed.

“The Arroyo government says that only the rich pay the VAT (value-added tax) while they are raking millions from every single commodity we buy and are only brought back into a one-time subsidy,” added Quizon.

Joining the said rally are students from Philippine Christian University, Jose Rizal University, University of the Philippines Manila and Diliman and University of Santo Tomas, which is the only university in the Philippines that bears the Papal seal. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

Grade School Participation Rate Plunges to 16-Year Low

July 11, 2008

Since it came to power more than seven years ago, the Arroyo administration has, among other feats, earned the distinction of bringing down the elementary school level participation rate to a 16-year low. The secondary school participation rate, meanwhile, has decreased by as much as 14.85 percentage points since 2001.

BY ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 22, July 6-12, 2008

Since it came to power through a popular uprising more than seven years ago, the Arroyo administration has, among other feats, earned the distinction of bringing down the participation rate (the proportion of the number of enrollees at the prescribed level of education for their age) at the elementary school level to a 16-year low.

The secondary school participation rate, meanwhile, has decreased by 14.85 percentage points since 2001.

According to the Department of Education (DepEd), elementary schools posted a participation rate of 99.10 percent for school year 1990-1991. It decreased to 85.10 percent the following school year, but rose to 85.21 percent in school year 1992-1993, continuously increasing until school year 1999-2000 when it reached 96.95 percent. It slightly decreased in school year 2000-2001, but went on another upward trend until school year 2002-2003 when it plunged to 90.29 percent from the previous school year’s 97.00 percent.

This was the start of a continuous downward trend. From 90.29 percent in school year 2002-2003, elementary school participation rates decreased to 88.74 percent in 2003-2004, 87.11 percent in 2004-2005, 84.44 percent in 2005-2006, and 83.22 percent in 2006-2007. The 2006-2007 elementary school participation rate is actually the lowest in 16 years. (See Table 1)

Table 1. Elementary School Participation Rates, 1990-2007

School Year

Participation Rate (%)

1990-1991

99.10

1991-1992

85.10

1992-1993

85.21

1995-1996

92.70

1996.1997

94.33

1997-1998

95.09

1998-1999

95.73

1999-2000

96.95

2000-2001

96.40

2001-2002

97.00

2002-2003

90.29

2003-2004

88.74

2004-2005

87.11

2005-2006

84.44

2006-2007

83.22

Source: Department of Education

At first glance, the statistics appear to be better at the secondary level. With the participation rate at 54.71 percent in school year 1990-1991 and 58.59 in school year 2006-2007, it could at least be said that the secondary school participation rate did not reach a 16-year low under the Arroyo administration.

However, the secondary school participation rate of school year 2006-2007 represents a 14.85-percentage point reduction since 2001. (See Table 2)

Table 2. Secondary School Participation Rates, 1990-2007

School Year

Participation Rate (%)

1990-1991

54.71

1991-1992

55.42

1992-1993

56.75

1993-1994

57.62

1994-1995

58.47

1995-1996

62.25

1996-1997

63.38

1997-1998

64.04

1998-1999

65.22

1999-2000

65.43

2000-2001

72.25

2001-2002

73.44

2002-2003

59.00

2003-2004

60.15

2004-2005

59.97

2005-2006

58.54

2006-2007

58.59

Source: Department of Education

What proved to be a continuous upward trend from 1990 to 2002 in secondary level participation rates was cut drastically in school year 2002-2003, which showed a steep 14.44-percentage point decline. The participation rate improved slightly in the next school year before going down again in 2004-2005. The 0.05-percentage point increase from 2005-2006 to 2006-2007 was not enough to even bring back the secondary level participation rate to the school year 2003-2004 level.

“If we compare the period from 2001 to 2007 to that of 1990 to 2000, we can see that the poverty incidence is higher now compared to the previous decade,” said France Castro, secretary-general of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and president of the Quezon City Public School Teachers Association (QCPSTA). “Basic goods have become so expensive that the parents of our students have become unable to afford even basic education. They now find it very difficult to send their children to school.”

“And even if basic education is said to be free, it’s not really free,” Castro added. “There are still many fees collected from students, like Red Cross fees and anti-tuberculosis fees, for instance.”

Castro said that there have been nominal increases in the basic education budget in both periods. However, she pointed out that the increases were bigger in 1990-2000 than in 2001-2007.

Estimates by the socio-economic think tank IBON Foundation show that the government now spends P2,000 ($44.00 at the July 4 exchange rate of $1:P45.45) per Filipino for education – or only 14 percent, in real terms, of what it spent in 1998.

The Philippine government currently spends 12.0 percent of its public expenditure and 2.1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on education – way below the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) standards of 22.0 percent of public expenditures and 6.0 percent of GDP. Bulatlat

No Actual Tuition Hike Freeze; Students Find Even SUCs Prohibitive

July 11, 2008

More than one month after Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced a moratorium on tuition and other fee increases, students in four of Metro Manila’s state universities and colleges (SUCs) have not received any refund yet from tuition and other fee hikes. The rising cost of public tertiary education has aggravated the plight of many Filipino families grappling with the economic crisis.

BY RONALYN V. OLEA
BULATLAT
Volume VIII, No. 22, July 6-12, 2008

On May 26, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo directed the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to put off any increase in tuition and other fees for state universities and colleges for the school year 2008-2009.

In her speech, Arroyo said, “The last thing that our parents need at this point to keep their children striving for college diplomas is another round of adjustment in tuition fees and other school expenses.”

On the same day, CHED Chair Romulo Neri issued a memorandum to the presidents of all SUCs (state universities and colleges) urging the governing boards to put off or defer planned increases in tuition and other fees. Neri added that SUCs that have already closed enrollment for the first semester may opt to either refund the students concerned or credit the amount to the tuition and other fees for the succeeding semester.

After more than a month though, Bulatlat visited four of the biggest SUCs in Metro Manila and found out that none has complied with the order yet.

Fake, useless

Students from SUCs hit Arroyo’s announcement as a mere lip service.

The University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman and the Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) implemented tuition and other fee increases last school year.UP hiked its tuition last year by 300 percent, or from P300 ($6.50 at last year’s average exchange rate of $1:P46.15) to P1,000 ($21.67) per unit . EARIST raised its tuition from P15 ($0.32) per unit to P100 ($2.17) per unit. New fees such as the energy fee and development fee were also collected.

Fee increases imposed last year are, technically, not covered by the moratorium ordered by Arroyo.

Mikko Samson, a second year journalism student of UP Diliman, called the President’s announcement “fake.”

Diana Enera of EARIST said of the order, “Nakakainis! Walang silbi” (It’s irritating and useless.) Antonio Perdigon Jr., another EARIST student, added, “Pampalubag-loob.” (It is meant to appease us.)

Sophia Prado, student regent of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), said the order “intends to pacify the anger of the country’s scholars.”

Prado said that the PUP administration deferred the proposed tuition increase, not in compliance with Arroyo’s order but because of student protests.

In February, more than 5,000 PUP students walked out of their classes and stormed the CHED’s main office in Pasig City when they heard about the proposal to increase their tuition from P12 ($0.30 at last February’s average exchange rate of $1:P40.67) per unit to P100 ($2.46) per unit, Prado related.

The PUP student regent, however, slammed the imposition of P100-tuition per unit for students enrolled at the PUP’s Open University and graduate school.

This semester, too, the PUP administration collected P250 ($5.65 at last June’s average exchange rate of $1:P44.28) from every student as development and modernization fee. Prado said that despite her manifestation of protest at the Board of Regents (BoR) meetings, the administration pursued its plan of imposing additional fees.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Normal University (PNU) hiked its tuition from P35 ($0.77) per unit to P100 ($2.20) per unit. Miscellaneous fees amounted to almost P1,000 ($22.00).

In an interview with Bulatlat, PNU President Atty. Lutgardo Barbo disclosed that they received the CHED memorandum regarding the freeze in tuition and other fees only after the enrollment.

Dr. Susan Declaro, PNU Vice President for Administration and Finance, said they have not received specific guidelines from CHED on how to implement Arroyo’s order.

Barbo said they are still studying whether to refund the tuition increase or to credit it to the next semester.

Alvin Peters, national president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), said that based on their monitoring, SCUs actually imposed tuition and other fee hikes. “Walang kaseryosohan ang gobyerno. In-announce kung kailan marami ang nakapag-enrol na. Hindi malinaw kung paano mababawi” (The government is not serious about it. It was announced after many students have enrolled already. It is not clear how the students will get their payments back.)

Peters also questioned the timing of the announcement. He said, “Nakapakete sa mga dole-outs, bahagi ng populist rhetoric na may ginagawa kunwari sa lumalalang krisis sa ekonomiya”  (It is packaged as one of the dole-outs, a part of populist rhetoric to show that something is done to address the economic crisis.)

Prohibitive

The rising cost of education coupled with the increasing prices of basic commodities has made education prohibitive for many students in SUCs.

Samson applied for Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP). After one month of processing the required papers, she has been moved to a lower bracket. From Bracket D with P600 ($13.20) per unit, she has been qualified for Bracket E, equivalent to P300 per unit of tuition. Still, she paid more than P7,000 ($158.08) this semester.

Samson lamented that UP’s bracketing system is erroneous. No one in her family is employed. They rely only on pension from the Social Security System (SSS). Her father died a few years ago.

She said, “Akala ng mama ko, makakatipid kami. Parang private na rin daw pala (ang UP)” (My mother thought we would spend little. She said later that UP seems like a private school.)

To sustain her schooling, her mother uses the SSS card as collateral for incurred loans. There were times, she said, when they had to do with P900 ($19.80) per month. She has two siblings.

Samson related they she knew students who passed the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) but opted to enroll in other schools that offer scholarships or have lower tuition. She noticed, too, that most of her classmates came from private secondary schools.

EARIST’s Enera’s plight is almost similar. Her father used to be an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) but is now jobless. Her mother works as a laundry woman.

She took the entrance test at EARIST thinking that tuition is affordable. “Nagulat kami na mataas ang tuition” (We were shocked to know that tuition is expensive.)

Enera said that two of her siblings were supposed to enter college, too. “Huminto sila para pagbigyan ako. Hindi na kayang pag-aralin” (They stopped schooling to give way to me. Our parents cannot send all of us to school.)

Before the enrollment, she thought she herself would have to quit school. “Nangungutang na lang ng pantustos sa pag-aaral.” (We just borrow money to sustain my schooling.)

Meanwhile, Perdigon, a third year business student at EARIST who was not hit by the tuition increase, complained of the energy fee, the laboratory fee and other new fees imposed on upper class students. His family also finds it hard to keep him in school.

His father is the only breadwinner, working as a cook for a carinderia (eatery). Like Enera, one of his siblings who should also be in college stopped schooling.

PUP freshmen Roy Torongoy and Rodel Sumooc are no different. Torongoy’s father is a driver; Sumooc said his mother’s eatery is their only source of the family’s income.

Although PUP’s tuition is pegged at P12 ($0.27) per unit, both students paid P958 ($21.64) upon enrolment. Torongoy said, “Compared to other schools, mas mura nga rito pero bulok-bulok naman (ang) facilities” (Compared to other schools, it’s cheaper here but the facilities are dilapidated.)

PNU Student Arsadon Vera said that they did not expect that tuition and other fees have gone up to P3,450 ($77.91). Her sister Katherine, a PNU graduate, related she was compelled to borrow money from a friend during enrolment.

When Katherine entered PNU in 2004, tuition was pegged at P35 ($0.62) per unit. Although she heard about the impending hike, she was nonetheless surprised by the rate of increase.

State subsidy

Students from SUCs deemed that the government must increase state subsidy to education.

Samson said that UP education must not be commercialized. She called on the government to increase state subsidy so that poor but deserving students may enter UP. She also criticized the excessive spending for the UP centennial celebrations.

Enera and Perdigon said the EARIST administration used as justification the decreasing budget for tuition and other fee increases.

Even PNU President Barbo, also president of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PAASUC) in the National Capital Region, said that government must pour in money to education. He deplored that the PNU, the oldest university and the country’s national university for teacher education, was not able to get increases in budgetary allocations in the past years. “We have always been lobbying for higher budget but nothing happened,” he said.

He said that most SUCs in the Philippines are not at par with the best universities in the world due to poor facilities. Barbo asserted that government earnings from expanded value-added tax (VAT) must be spent for the basic needs of state educational institutions. He also said that debt servicing eats up the biggest chunk from the national budget. “Let them [lending institutions] understand that we are already dying. How can we pay them?” he said.

Asked if he agrees on Arroyo’s order, Barbo said, “I think it’s a stop-gap solution, a band-aid measure.” He said that SUCs may defer increases this year but may always opt to implement hikes in the following years due to budgetary constraints.

Review policies

Peters said that from the start, they have been critical of Arroyo’s declaration of moratorium. “Government has no political will to regulate tuition… Pagpapapogi lang ni GMA sa panahon ng krisis”  (GMA only wants to earn good points amid the crisis.)

He added that education in the Philippines is essentially deregulated. Peters explained that the Higher Education Modernization Act (HEMA) authorizes governing boards of SUCs to fix tuition and other fees.

Peters also slammed Arroyo and the CHED for not controlling the tuition and other fee hikes of private higher educational institutions (PHEIs). He said that PHEIs have soaring tuition and other fees. He pointed out that the Education Act of 1982 has given school owners the power to increase fees.

The NUSP called on legislators to review policies on education. “These laws are the very reasons why the government cannot control the rising cost of tertiary education,” Peters said.

The Long Term Higher Education Development Plan (LTHEDP) reveals the government’s thrust on education, Peters said. “Malinaw na talagang nasa balangkas ng pagbabawas ng SUCs, pagbibigay ng fiscal economy na nagbubunga ng pagtaas ng matrikula at iba pang bayarin. Sa esensya, tinatalikuran ng gobyerno ang obligasyon sa edukasyon” (It is clear that the government is in the framework of reducing the number of SUCs, provide fiscal autonomy resulting to tuition and other fee increases. In essence, the government is abandoning its obligations to provide education to the Filipino youth.)

PNU President Barbo said, “The quality of education in any country is directly proportional to the vision of its policy makers.” He also called on the government to provide higher budget for education.

Peters also asserted that the Arroyo government should undertake substantial economic reforms. “Apektado talaga ang kabataan sa pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin, gasolina at pamasahe” (We are also affected of the increasing prices of commodities, oil and transportation), he said.

Prado said that PUP students are among those hardest-hit by the economic crisis. She said their parents come from the basic sectors of the society. “This is why we support the demand of workers for wage increase and the call of farmers for genuine land reform,” she said. Bulatlat

UPHOLD DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS! DEFY CAMPUS REPRESSION!

July 9, 2008

UPHOLD DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS!

DEFY CAMPUS REPRESSION!

All student councils, publications and organizations in the University of the Philippines were promptly abolished after the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972. It was in 1974 when the campaign for the restoration of student councils began and the issue of the students’ democratic rights was again brought to the fore. Along the re-establishment of the UPLB student council, the first among the revival of other UP student councils is a decisive leadership that advocates upholding and safeguarding the democratic rights and welfare of the students and defying all forms of campus repression.

Today, UPLB students are again facing intensified attacks on their democratic rights and welfare.

The tambayan phase-out in the Institute of Biological Sciences last semester as well as the alleged phase-out of other student organization tambayans outside campus buildings as part of the UPLB administration’ s “grand plan” to construct mini parks in the campus is a direct attack to the students’ right to organize.

As if rubbing salt on wound, the administration directive not to allow student organizations to use campus buildings and other facilities after 7 PM, not to mention the high rental rates of these facilities beforehand, represses their right to hold activities and ensure the development of students into well-rounded individuals.

More so, students as well as other sectors of the University are usually deprived of democratic consultations in policy-making that directly affect student and other sectoral interests. The last 2 years bore witness to the approval of system-wide policies like the UP Charter and the UP Tuition and Other Fees Increase and local policies such as the jeepney rerouting scheme, driver’s ID system, downsizing of security guards and abolition of ambulant vendors with minimal or token if not no consultations at all.

On the other hand, campus press freedom and the right of the students to information are repressed due to the delay in the appointment of the Editor-in-Chief of the UPLB Perspective. Such resulted to the publication’s difficulty in processing its funds in order to release their first issue for this school year.

Along with these is the assault on our right to a democratic USC-CSC Elections enshrined in the USC-CSC Constitution. Five university college secretaries filed a complaint of gross misconduct and deliberate discourtesy to persons of authority against the incumbent USC Vice-chairperson and representative to the CEB without justifiable reason.

Most of all, the delay of the USC-CSC elections because of the disagreement between members of the CEB regarding the qualifications for candidacy is a deliberate attack to the students’ right to participate in campus elections, right to democratic representation to policymaking bodies in the university and have their grievances speedily redressed.

The student council is an important venue in raising the consciousness of the students and advancing their rights and interests. It is the primary institution leads the students in their struggle against continued repression and commercialization of education.

The assault to student institutions such as the USC, CSCs and the UPLB Perspective, heralds of the students’ rights and welfare, is a direct attack to the students’ democratic rights and aspirations. At the dawn of the UP centennial, we should establish ourselves as guardians of these democratic rights former UP students have paid for dearly.

Call for an immediate USC-CSC Elections!

Uphold Student Council and UPLB Perspective Autonomy!

Defend Student Democratic Rights!

No to Campus Repression!

July 1: University-wide CSL & Student Regent Consultation

(7 PM, SU Bldg.)

July 2: College-based CSL & Discussion Groups

July 8: Freshman Block Assembly (FBA)

July 3: Anti-TOFI Mobilization (Mass-up 3 PM, Humsteps)

July 10: Nationally Coordinated Walkout & Youth Protest Day

(Mendiola, Manila )

GMA signs orders to improve education

July 7, 2008

By Angelo S. Samonte, Reporter

President Gloria Arroyo designated the director general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) as a member of the Teacher Education Council (TEC) to strengthen the Presidential Task Force on Education.

In executive orders 729 and 730, the President cited the “need to include the technical-vocational sector of education to the TEC and to educate and train the technical-vocational teachers of unquestionable integrity and competence.”

The two orders, signed by the President on June 4, 2008 but released only Friday, will synchronize and harmonize the country’s education system.

The Teacher Education Council was created by Republic Act 7784, while the Tesda was created by Republic Act 7796.

The presidential task force, for its part, was created by Executive Order 652, which Mrs. Arroyo signed on August 21, 2007 “to assess, plan and monitor the entire educational system.”

Executive Order 730 added two private representatives to the board of advisers of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Intellectual property

President Arroyo also signed Executive Order 736, which creates the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights that will work to intensify intellectual property rights protection in the Philippines.

She stressed the “need for an inter-agency group that will effectively formulate and implement plans and policies and strengthen the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the country.”

The newly created intellectual property rights committee is chaired by the Department of Trade and Industry, and co-chaired by the Intellectual Property Office.

Both offices are tasked to “continue to coordinate inter-agency efforts against piracy and counterfeiting.(ManilaTimes)

Expelled student torches school

July 6, 2008

By Ruby P. Silubrico

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A 17-YEAR-old boy is presently facing arson charges for torching his school Wednesday.

Edwardo Leysa Jr. is under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) of Barangay Caigon, Calinog, Iloilo, after he attempted to burn down six classrooms of Caigon Elementary School to take revenge on the school principal after she refused to accept him when he tried to enroll.

Arroyo Watch: Sun.Star blog on President Arroyo

Leysa admitted the crime, saying that he torched the classrooms by setting fire on the textbooks around 7 p.m. until the fire quickly spread to the principal’s office.

He added that prior to the incident he had a drinking spree with some friends.

He said when he went home later he passed by the school and thought of burning it down.

“I really didn’t plan it but when I passed our school it suddenly came in to my mind to burn it because I was really mad at the principal for not enrolling me,” Leysa said.

Leysa is supposed to be a graduating student of Caingon Elementary School. However, he was expelled for allegedly trying to kill his teacher last year and for being involved in a fist fight with his classmate.

“I begged my teacher to enroll me because I promised to myself that I will change but they still refused and I really got mad,” he added.

Leysa was arrested after the incident.(SunStarIloilo)

=============================

My Take:

I hate the guy.  Especially if the allegation that he tried to kill one of his teacher is true.

But he is a minor.  And the media has sworn to protect the names of minor involved in such incident, be it a suspect, or a victim.

This item is unethical (at least in journalist’s ethics).

PUP students walk out of classes, demand Arroyo resignation

July 5, 2008

07/03/2008 | 11:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Some 3,000 students from the Polytechnic
University of the Philippines (PUP) walked out of their classes
Thursday and called for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo.

The students said that the protest was a “dry-run” for nationwide
“walkouts” in the coming weeks in preparation for the upcoming State
of the Nation Address.

Anakbayan national chairperson Ken Ramos described the protest as a
“testament of the youth’s disgust in the Arroyo administration for
continuously burdening the people with price hikes and stagnant
wages.”

“PUP students have proven time and again the power of collective
action as means to attain their just and democratic demands,” Ramos
said.

Last week, the PUP administration was forced to refund the illegally
collected P250 developmental fee to students after almost 2,000
student rallyists marched from the PUP campus to the Commission on
Higher Education (CHED) main office in Pasig City.

In 2007, some 7,000 PUP students also prevented the PUP Board of
Regents from approving a proposed 500 percent tuition fee increase.

PUP’s tuition at P12 per unit remains the cheapest among state
colleges and universities to this day.

Ramos, however, warned that such victories would be “empty and but
temporary for as long as the educational and economic policies set by
the Arroyo administration remain in place.”

“In the end, we must work for the repeal of these burdensome policies
and demand accountability from the mastermind, Mrs. Arroyo, herself.
This can only be achieved through her immediate ouster from office,”
he said.

According to Ramos, the PUP walk out is only the start of similar
protest actions geared up in other schools nationwide.

Anakbayan, together with other member organizations of YOUTH ACT NOW!
(Youth for Accountability and Truth Now!), will spearhead nationwide
walkouts on July 10 and July 18. – GMANews.TV

Ilocos fiscal dismisses theft charges vs. UNP campus newshen

June 28, 2008

VIGAN CITY — A Vigan City prosecutor dismissed the theft charges filed against a student journalist of the University of Northern Philippines (UNP).

According to the Resolution signed by City Prosecutor Dedicacion Banua, the Criminal Complaint for Theft filed by . Nolito Ragunjan, coordinator for Student Publications of UNP-Vigan, was dismissed because the City Prosecutor’s Office finds no probable cause to hold Ma. Criselda Diocena for trial.

Said court resolution stated that the “taking” referred to in Art.308 of the Revised Penal Code, must be accompanied by the intention, at the time of the taking, of withholding the thing with some character of permanency.

“So if the taking is momentary as when the purpose of the offender is to return the things to the owner when he was apprehended, intent to gain is not present,” the resolution noted citing People vs. Visconde 75 Phil. 520.

Ragunjan charged Diocena and Rafal, editor-in-chief of Tandem and former student regent respectively, of robbery before the complaint was amended to theft charged solely to Diocena.

Intent to gain

The resolution upheld the stand of Diocena that she has the unlimited access to the Student Resource Center (SRC) where the alleged Central Processing Unit (CPU) is located.

“It is settled that the allegedly missing CPU is with the SRC of UNP and had been there since the report that the same was missing.” The resolution stated, and added that, “It was removed from one office only to be transferred to another office of the same University. Meaning, it is still within the custody of the University and not transferred to anybody, it is within the control and free disposal of the University.”

The resolution stressed that the elements of intent to gain and unlawful taking could “hardly be inferred”.

According to the Revised Penal Code, Theft has the following elements: a) Intent of gain; b) Unlawful taking; c) Personal property belonging to another; d) Absence of violence or intimidation against persons or force upon things; and e) without the consent of the owner.

Persecution campaign

Human Rights groups in Ilocos welcomed the decision of the City Prosecutor’s Office. In a joint statement issued by Tanggulan Youth Network for the Advancement of Human Rights and Ilocos Human Rights Advocates (IHRA), said that the decision only showed that attempts to hide the truth would succeed.

However, they dismissed the thought that the harassments will stop.

These fabricated cases are meant to persecute the students fighting for the rights of the students. The statement noted stating that the dismissal of Diocena does not end the continuing persecution among student activists.

“As part of the educational system that is commercialized, colonial and fascist, it is expected that they will continue their vilification campaign against Diocena, Pelayo among others to demoralize the students in asserting their rights,” the statement stressed.

Diocena for her part, also welcomed the prosecutor’s decision, however, she feared that another trumped up charges are yet to come.

“According to Office of Student Affairs (OSA), there is still a pending case against me,” Diocena lamented. “With this continuing repression, my future is at stake,” she said.

As this developed, Diocena and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) lobbied the issue to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and rallied in front of CHED’s national office last week to call for the reopening of Tandem and to stop campus press freedom violations committed by the UNP administration. # Rod Tajon(NorDis)

Debate continues on CHEd memo on nursing

June 28, 2008

BAGUIO CITY — While educators’ groups opposed the implementation of an education order on Nursing, almost all colleges and universities in the Cordillera region adopted the said policy, according to Cordillera education officials.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order No. 5 would mandate more hours for the related learning experiences and additional subjects for the Bachelor of Science In Nursing (BSN).

“Except for two schools, all colleges and universities offering Nursing in the region have adopted CMO No. 5 and they are up for implementation for this school year 2008-2009,” said Melody Labawig, CHED-CAR education supervisor.

In an interview, Labawig cited that only Easter College and the Ifugao State College of Agriculture and Forestry, both offering BSN, deferred the implementation of the said memorandum.

Labawig cited that on May 23, CHED Chairman Romulo Neri issued a memorandum which provides flexibility for the implementation of CMO No. 5. In the order handed to this writer, colleges and universities are either to implement the order this school year or defer its implementation by one school year.

The order stated that “higher educational institutions (HEIs) must inform in writing their respective CHED Regional Office as to which option to take” adding, “HEIs newly granted authority to open the BSN program starting school year 2008-2009 should follow CMO No. 5 series of 2008.”

Anti-CMO

Neri issued CMO No. 5 in March. It calls for longer hours of duty for nursing students spread on the four year period of the course. HEIs under the umbrella of the Coordinating Council of Private Educ (COCOPEA) and Private Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) opposed it due to absence of democratic consultation. Both said the memo would entail more financial burden to students and their parents.

Earlier, COCOPEA planned to file a temporary restraining order to stop the implementation of the order.

PACU Pres. Duque, a school owner in Region I, criticized the policy reiterating its haste adoption and implementation of the order. “We were not consulted,” he claimed in a TV interview.

Support for CMO

The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) on the other hand declared its full support to the implementation of CHED Memorandum No. 5.

“The order will improve the quality of nursing education,” Ruth Thelma Tingda, PNA regional president for the Cordillera and Region 1, stated in interview as she iterated the existence of the PNA position in the national level.

PNA National President Dr. Leah Primitiva Samaco-Paquiz said she supports the rationale of the new and enhanced Four-year BSN program as “it aims to produce a fully functioning nurse who is able to perform the competencies under each of the Key Areas of responsibility as enumerated by the new CHED Memo.”

Paquiz claimed that the key areas enumerated under the CMO which would improve nursing education are the following: safe and quality nursing care, management of resources, and environment, health education, legal responsibility, ethico-moral responsibilities, personal and professional development, quality improvement, research, records management, communication, and collaboration and teamwork.

Paquiz is a member of the CHED Technical Committee on Nursing Education (TCNE) and that PNA has been a part of the discussion on the policies and standards of this new four-year BSN program.

In her statement, Paquiz stated that the additional 357 hours for related learning experience (RLE) equivalent to seven units are spread through the four year curriculum from levels 1 to 4.

Meanwhile, Migrante–Cordillera added their voice in pointing out the weakness of the CHED Memorandum No. 5. While it alleged to improve quality nursing education, the graduates are directed towards foreign countries, said Flora Belinan in an earlier interview. It failed to address the “brain drain” issue, she pointed out.

Allegedly, some basic subjects for BSN are to be joined with other subjects as one such as history and political science. An instructor in this city claimed that the subjects political science, particularly focused on the constitution, and history develop the patriotism and the obedience to law of our citizens.

The same mentor said that combining these subjects would lessen the time for students to develop their patriotism and law abiding citizens.

The CHED-CAR data showed that BSN is the most enrolled and graduate discipline in the region. # Arthur L. Allad-iw(Nordis)

CEGP National Week of Action

June 27, 2008

 

July 7-11, 2008

 

July 7 – Unveiling of Giant Editorial, 11:00am, University of the Philippines, Philippine Collegian Rooftop, Vinzons Hall

                Let us collectively wield our pens and announce the Guild’s official stand through an editorial collaboratively written by editors and members from different campus publications.

                Theme: Campus journalists act now! Wield our pens against tyranny and corruption. Unite to defend the people’s rights and welfare.

                Mechanics:  Member publications and all those interested to participate are enjoined to contribute 1-2 sentences each for the collective editorial. Writing will be ‘rengga-style’ – one sentence/thought contributed will be followed by a corresponding sentence/thought from another contributor.  The National Office will provide a working outline as guide. Entries may be in English or Filipino.

                An egroup will be put up for this project. Please text in your email addresses to Karen, 09193078733 on or before June 25, 2008. Entries and contributions are welcome until July 4, 2008.

 

July 8 – Editorial cartoon exhibit launch, 11:00am, venue to be announced

                We are calling on all graphic artists to submit their editorial cartoons with socially relevant themes.

                Mechanics: Graphic artists must mount their entries on the black surface of a 1/8 size illustration board, plastic-covered, labeled with the name of the artist, campus publication and editorial cartoon title. Published or non-published editorial cartoons will be accepted. 

                Entries may be dropped at Rm. 305, National Press Club Bldg., Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila, or contact Karla, 09273930753. Entries from the regions and provinces may also be mailed to the abovementioned address.

                Digital copies of your editorial cartoons must also be emailed (jpeg format) to cegpnational@ yahoo.com

                Please submit your editorial cartoons on or before July 5. Our target is to compile 77 editorial cartoons to commemorate the Guild’s upcoming 77th anniversary on July 25, 2008. The exhibit will run from July 8-July 25, 2008 in three different schools.

 

July 9 – Film showing and production work

                 SINAG, the official publication of UP Diliman College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, will sponsor a film showing and program for member publications. Details of the activity to follow.

                After which, members of the Guild are encouraged to join the production work of campaign materials, streamers and banners for the upcoming July 10 Youth Act Now! (Youth for Accountability and Truth Now!) National Day of Action.

 

July 10 – Youth Act Now! National Day of Action

 

July 11 – CEGP Cultural Night and Acquaintance Party, 6:00pm, venue to be announced

Falling Enrolment Rates Highlight Need for More Social Spending

June 22, 2008

One more child out of every 10 school age children was not able to go to school, highlighting the need for higher government spending in social services, said research group IBON Foundation.

Figures from the Department of Education (DepEd) show that participation rate at the elementary level, or the percentage of children aged 7-12 who are enrolled in public and private elementary schools, has fallen from 96.95% in SY 1999-2000 to 83.22% in SY 2006-2007. At the secondary level, only 58.59% of children aged 13-16 were enrolled in high schools in SY 2006-2007 from 65.43% in SY 1999-2000.

These figures highlight the need for government to allocate more resources for social were ditional penditure) espectively7.s, 17 out of e of rising cost of livingh is way below int quality stdsservices spending. The 2008 national budget allocated just over P2,000 per Filipino for education, 14% less in real terms than what was allocated in 1998. For health services, another important social service, only P253 was allocated per Filipino, which was 28% less in real terms than what was allocated in 1997.

Such services should be prioritized over the paltry subsidies the Arroyo administration has been using recently to win popular support from the poor. It recently allocated some P2 billion to provide four million poor families a one-time P500 electricity subsidy, and promised other subsidies such as loans for poor students. However, its education spending is only 12% of public expenditure and 2.1% of the gross domestic product. These are way below the international quality standards of 22% (for public expenditure) and 6% (for GDP). (end)

IBON Foundation, Inc. is an independent development institution established in 1978 that provides research, education, publications, information work and advocacy support on socioeconomic issues.(PinoyPress)

Young, Poor and Unschooled

June 22, 2008

By Perla Aragon-Choudhury
Philippine Human Rights Reporting Project

QUEZON CITY — Pepe, 12, is busy helping his mother package loose garlic cloves for sale. “Before I go to school,” he says,” I put the cloves in plastic packs and staple them onto strips of cardboard. And when I get back home, I walk with my mother to the stores around Tandang Sora.”

Working in this main thoroughfare of Quezon City with his mother, Pepe endures the fierce afternoon sun, as shown by his dark brown skin. But he is proud to have finished Grade 6 — and happy that his cousin Jeffrey will return to school after dropping out last year.

Pepe and Jeffrey descended from tenant farmers who once toiled the land here before it was converted into subdivisions for the burgeoning population in the Philippines.

Their grandmother talks of a time when the family had enough for all their needs. But today they have lost the lands and their livelihoods to become tricycle and jeepney drivers or sidewalk vendors who are not allowed in to sell at the nearby private market.

Pepe is not the only working-class student determined to stay in class. In a garbage pile near a big drugstore along Tandang Sora, Mac-Mac, 12, checks for plastic bottles to sell. “I can get a good price for the mineral water ones,” he says indicating a junk shop along Visayas Avenue.

Mac-Mac is a fifth grader at a public school and proudly claims his teachers have awarded him `Best in Science’ and `Top Five’.

“I want to be a doctor and treat people even if they are too poor to pay,” he says as he carries a sack which once held the rice that the poor of Manila now queue for outside of the National Food Authority (NFA) on Visayas Avenue.

A kindly meat vendor in the nearby market worries out loud about the future if the children who work the streets here instead of being in school. “Just like the gangs in Oliver Twist, they’ll probably lack the proper values, character formation, discernment and life skills,” says Francisco Mondragon, 60.

“By late afternoon they are here at the market, asking for what we will discard,” says Mondragon. “How will they get the jobs that just might lift them out of poverty if they’re out of school?”

Shirley too works in the market. Poverty forced her to quit high school after her second year and she is now married to a seasonal construction worker earning what she can through buying and selling on fish to her equally poor neighbors. She makes very little in the way of profit.

But she hopes at least her children with get a better chance of schooling than she ever did.

“I’m lucky that one of my sons impressed his teachers during the entrance interview at the rich pre-school in our area, and got a scholarship. I hope that he can still get one tomorrow when we enroll again in his new school. If not, he might have to quit.”

The problem is education in the Philippines is free in principle –but not in practice. Pupils are routinely denied schooling for failing to wear the proper uniform or having the proper stationary or supplies.

Shirley’s sons and a great many other children like them across the Philippines are being denied the right to an education which is contrary to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which states that “everyone has the right to education.”

In 2000 — close to 50 years after it ratified the UDHR in 1948 – the Philippines became one of the signatories to the Millennium Declaration and committed to meet by 2015 eight goals that address development concerns worldwide.

Last year marked the midpoint for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but in its progress report last October, the Philippine government said there may be problems in achieving universal primary education.

Writing in the Philippine Center for Investigation (PCIJ) last month, field reporter Jaileen Jimeno described the state of education in the Philippines as dismal. “Since the Arroyo administration came to power in 2001, all key performance indicators in education in fact have floundered,” she claims. “The percentage of schoolchildren who reach up to grade six, for instance, is down from a high of 75.9 percent in 2001 to 69.9 percent in 2006. Elementary dropout rate in 2001 was 5.75 percent, but went up to 7.36 in 2006. Those who repeat a grade is also up, from 1.95 percent in 2001 to 2.89 percent in 2006.”

In large part, she says, problems can largely be traced to a decline in per capita spending for education and a booming population. Per capita spending for education currently stands around $25. This includes teachers’ salaries and building and classroom maintenance. The result is that many schools and their teachers find creative ways of charging pupils and their families in order to raise much needed funds and supplementing income.

But as 20 million children trooped back to school this week, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo reminded teachers not to charge them fees and accept those who came without uniforms.

“We want to make it as small a burden as possible on parents to send their children to school. Just like in the United States and many parts of Europe, we should not require children to wear uniforms. We want to make sure that all our children go to school, especially our six-year-olds, because our statistics show that majority are at home.”

The idea is to help children enter and stay in school. In this connection, the National Framework for Youth Development (Philippine Medium-Term Youth Development Plan 2005-2010) cites Labor Code Article 139 which rules that children under 15 may not be employed (as do Republic Act or RA 9231 and 7858).

The Labor Code also prevents children under 16 — like Pepe and Mac-Mac — from working at night; those under 18 from working unless permitted by the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); and those below 18 from working in jobs hazardous to health, safety and morals.

Another set of laws – the Women and Child Labor Law, the Labor Code Article 150 and RA 8231 – stipulates that children below 15 are not permitted to work more than seven hours a day; and that no children below 14 are allowed to work as apprentices.

But what if students are near the point of dropping out?

The DOLE has its Special Program for Employment of Students to encourage the employment of poor but deserving students and out-of-school youth (OSY) during summer and Christmas breaks. The Department of Education has its Youth Action for Sustainable Development to teach students and OSY entrepreneurship, science, culture and the arts.

The scholarship for Shirley’s son at Little Lamb Learning Center shows how private groups help prevent and lessen the number of school drop-outs. For its part, Miriam College offers night classes for adults wanting to go back into education. One of its students, Eileen Gardo, made it through the five-year high school course by combining housework with homework for her 5-9 p.m. classes.

She recalls: “At times, I had to wade through floods just to get to exams on time. Many evenings I had to go hungry because I had just enough cash for the jeepney fare but no money for food. But now I want to study hotel and restaurant management so that I can run my very own business. I’m good at cooking, you know.”

Other private initiatives to keep children in schools come from major television networks which requests viewers to donate bags, notebooks, pencils and other school supplies.

And under the Adopt-a-School Program of the Department of Education, schools are built, repaired and maintained by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce, the Coca-Cola Foundation, the SM Foundation and other socially responsible organizations.

Still other groups like Child Hope Asia use a comprehensive approach to ensure livelihood for urban poor families as well to keep children in school as long as possible.

One step at a time admittedly — but when many people move together, school children are helped on the road to a better life.


(The author is a freelance reporter specializing on women, children, reproductive health and religious issues. Names of the minors interviewed in this story have been changed to protect their identities.)

Student journalists decry press freedom, democratic rights violation

June 20, 2008

PASIG CITY — Student journalists denounced violations of campus press freedom and democratic rights in a picket-rally staged first week of June in front of the Commission Higher Education (CHED) in relation to the move by administration officials of an Ilocos-based government school.

Campus journalists belonging to the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) were joined by about fifteen (15) protesters from National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP) the CHED National Office protest during the recent meeting of the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) Board of Regents (BOR).

Said BOR meeting would tackle the approval of The Blazers to change Tandem as the new publication of UNP, as approved at the recent Policy Conference of the UNP administration last May. The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) has consistently pushed the Blazers since last year; however, the BOR did not approve said publication and recommended that the administration resolve the issue inside the university.

According to Ma. Criselda Diocena, editor-in-chief of Tandem, the official student publication of UNP, and convener of Defend Tandem, the UNP has launched blatant attacks to the rights to the students by silencing its voice in the publication and the student council.

“They closed the publication and used force to harass the student leaders and instill fear among the students.” Diocena stressed as she enumerated the cases of student’s rights and campus press freedom violations that the UNP administration allegedly committed.

Diocena was among the student leaders who was harassed and charged with theft after allegedly taking the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of Tandem to the Student Resource Center. To date, Diocena’s case is still at the City Prosecutor’s Office and the office of Tandem remains closed.

In addition, Diocena was not allowed by the College of Engineering (CE) to take up her final examinations, as the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) through Dr. Gilbert Arce did not issue her any clearance. Diocena has not yet enrolled.

Vijhae Alquisola, National President of the CEGP lambasted the UNP administration for creating a new publication to replace Tandem. “The BOR should look into the Tandem seriously, it should not resort to the closure of publication.” Alquisola noted and suggested that the BOR should see to it that the “democratic rights and campus press freedom of the student are upheld.”

Diocena is currently lobbying at various government and non-government agencies to support her call for the reopening of the publication and to stop political persecution to her and other student leaders. # Rod Tajon(NorthernDispatch)

Nursing dominates enrollment

June 20, 2008

BAGUIO CITY — Nursing and medical allied courses remain the most enrolled and graduate discipline in the Cordillera region in the school year 2007-2008, showed data from the regional office of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd-CAR).

From the 68,511 students enrolled in the higher educational institutions (HEIs) in this city, the top ten most enrolled courses are nursing and allied medical courses with 27,015 ( 39 %); Business Administration and Related 12,757(19 percent), Engineering and Technology 8,404 (12 percent), IT Related Discipline 4,141 (6 percent), Education Science and Teacher Training 3,736 (5 %); Service Trades 1,778 (3 %); Social and Behavioral Sciences 1,605 (2 %); Mass Communication and Documentation 1,286 (2 %); Law and Jurisprudence 1,240 (2 percent); and, Architectural and Town-Planning 932 (1 %).

The least enrolled courses are Fine and Applied Arts, Religion and Theology, and Mathematics and Computer Science.

Reportedly, the trend as to the most enrolled discipline will be the same this school year as Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) remains to be the top rank courses due to the demand of the international market.

The Ched-CAR data show that the 18 schools in this city have a total graduates of 10,218 in 2007.

The top 10 disciplines are Medical and Allied Course (dominated by BSN) 4,781 (47 %); Business Administration and Related Courses 1,906 (19 %); Engineering and Technology 939 (9 %); Education Science and Teacher Training 633 (6 %); IT Related Discipline 397 (4 %); Social and Behavioral Sciences 326 (3 %); Law and Jurisprudence 253 (2 %); Mass Communication and Documentation 163 (2 %); Natural Science 121 (1 %); and, Humanities 110 (1 %).

“The data for graduates show that nursing course is being patronized more to cater for the international market. While we have graduates, our health care system is not assured due to the labor export policy of the government. They should balance courses also for the needs of the people,” said Flora Belinan, chairperson of the Migrante-Cordillera.

Based on the Ched-CAR data, there are eight graduates in Agriculture, Forestry and fisheries in 2007 but no one graduated in 2008. “These courses for food security are no longer the priority of the government due to its thirst for dollar remittances by these future overseas workers,” pointed out Belinan, a graduate of Social Work who went to Hongkong as a domestic helper.

Enrollees in the 18 HEIs in this city increased to 68,511 (SY 2007-2008) from 68,481 (SY 2006-2007) while the graduates increased by 19 percent with the total 10,218 (2007) from 8,570 in 2006.

Baguio as educational center

The Ched-CAR data show that there are a total of 98,015 enrollees in the higher educational institutions (HEIs) in the region during the school year 2007-2008.

Some 68,511 (70%) students are enrolled in the HEIs in Baguio City, making it as the educational center of the north. There are 9,627 (10 percent) students enrolled in Benguet; 5,417 (6 percent) in Mountain Province; 4,851 (5 percent) in Abra; 2,867 (3 percent) in Ifugao; and, 2,146 (2 percent) in Apayao.

The data also show the disparity of urban-based HEIs from the provinces. There are 46 HEIs in the region which are distributed as follows: Baguio 18; Benguet 8; Kalinga 6; Abra 5; Ifugao 4; Mountain Province 3; and, Apayao 2. All the HEIs in Mountain Province, Apayao and Ifugao are state colleges.

From the 46 HEIs, 37 or 80% are privately-owned or controlled while the 10% are SCUs, said Patricio Dinamling, Education Supervisor of the Ched-CAR.

The nine State Colleges and Universities (SCUs) are distributed in the region as follows: Baguio 1; Kalinga – 3; Benguet – 3; and, Abra2. The data show the control of private institutions on the HEIs.

4.5-38.89% TFI for private schools

It was also learned from the Ched-CAR data that private-owned HEIs in the region had increased their tuition fees ranging from 4.5 to 38.89%.

The following HEIs in the region increased their tuition fees: Saint Louis University – 4.5 % with a minimum of P377.25 per unit; Baguio Central University – 6.5 % for higher years with minimum from 369.98.92 to 346.04 while 10 % for first years from P 431.83 to 475.10; University of the Cordilleras – 10 % from P 327.15 to 359.85; University of Baguio – 7.5 % from 351.90 to 378.29; Baguio College of Technology (BETI) – 5 % from P 282.85 to 296.99; Kalos M.A. College – 38.89 % from P 72 to 100; Divine World College – 13 % from P 219.15 to 248 but P 270 to P 305.10 for first year BSN students.

Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently suspended the increase of tuition and other fees in SCUs.

“There is no order received by this office so far for the suspension of school fees in SCUs,” Dinamling pointed out. “But the tuition fees for private HEIs are for implementation,” he added.

This reporter learned from Dinamling that the tuition fee application for AMA Computer College and International Christian Colleges were disapproved. He added that the said institutions failed to observe some of the provisions of CMO No. 13, series of 1998 and CMO No. 29, series of 1999 which were the basis for school fee increases. # Arthur L. Allad-iw(NorthernDispatch)

Militant groups stage “chain of protests”

June 20, 2008

BAGUIO CITY — Showing their disgust to the Arroyo government of the worsening economic crisis, different militant sectoral groups staged a “chain of protests” in key areas of the city’s central business district, here Tuesday.


RICE PRICE PROTEST. Passersby and people queued trying to buy the cheaper government-subsidized rice listen attentively to women protesters as they explain steep price hikes at the rice section of the Baguio City market Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Cye Reyes/NORDIS

Clad in apron while holding placards with calls of protest against the issue of rice crisis, members of Innabuyog-Gabriela and the Cordillera peasant group Alyansa dagiti Pesante iti Taéng Kordilyera (Apit-Tako) held a short program in the rice section of the market, where there was a long line of people trying to buy the cheaper government-subsidized rice.

The women protesters stressed that the “increase in rice importation made the country dependent on other countries to meet the local demand for rice” that eventually led to the condition of speculation and price manipulation.

“We are actually capable of producing our own supply of rice but thousands of hectares of our agricultural lands are now being converted into subdivisions and golf courses,” said Virgie Dammay of Apit-Tako adding that the country’s food security is also threatened by crop conversion where high-value crops such as oil palm and jathropa are substituted for palay.

Members of the urban poor organization Organisasyon dagiti Nakurapay nga Umili ti Syudad (Ornus) in their lightning rally at Km. 0 lower Session Road, showed their fury on the continuous oil price hikes resulting to the relentless increase in the prices of basic commodities.

“Mahal na ang bigas, mahal pa ang gas, kaunting kita lagas!” read the rallyists’ placards.

Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) Spokesperson Lito Wayas aired the sentiment of drivers and operators for the scrapping of the 12% expanded value added tax (EVAT) on oil and its by-products.

The urban poor sector pinpointed the oil deregulation law as the main culprit why multinational oil companies can have unlimited increases in the prices of their petroleum products.

The militant workers’ alliance Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Cordillera chapter held a petition signing at the People’s Park calling for the enactment of House Bills 1772 and 1962 authored by the late Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran of Anakpawis Partylist.

The said House Bills are to legislate the P125 wage increase of workers and the P3,000 across-the-board wage increase of government employees.

“We intend to get as much signatures as we can before submitting it to the appropriate committee in Congress,” said Nida Tundagui of KMU-Cordillera.


Photo by Cye Reyes/NORDIS

Different youth organizations led by Anakbayan also gathered along Session Road on the same day to ventilate the people’s remorse to the present economic crisis, specifically denouncing Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s late pronouncement asking colleges and universities not to increase tuition and other school fees.

“There is no other way to help the students with the high fees than to review and reform the Commission on Higher Education’s (Ched) policies on education and allocate higher state subsidy to education,” said Anjo Rey Cerdeña, chairperson of College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) Baguio-Benguet chapter.

According to the statement of Tongtongan ti Umili “the economic hardship would not only lead to increasing number of poor and hungry Filipinos but also to the widening and ever-growing movement to assert people’s rights and protest against this anti-people regime.”

The protesters all gathered at the People’s Park and held a short program to signify their united call to oust Arroyo. # Cye Reyes(NorthernDispatch)

Binmaley mayor deplores sub-standard materials

June 20, 2008

BINMALEY–Upon seeing that substandard materials are being used to repair schools here damaged by Typhoon Cosme, Mayor Simplicio Rosario has immediately ordered a halt to the ongoing reconstruction work in two schools

Rosario, an engineer and a contractor prior to entering public service, said he personally saw, while he was distributing free school bags and notebooks to school children in his town, that the steel being used by the contractor of the Department of Education (DepEd) is only 9 millimeters in size which is not enough to hold trusses.

“This is not fit for building construction,” an angry mayor said, adding that it puts the children and the school staff at risk in the event another natural calamity, especially an earthquake, hit the town.

Stopped by the mayor were the rehabilitation of Binmaley Central Elementary School and Binmaley North Central School, two of the most heavily-damaged schools.

Rosario asked the contractor to present to him the design for the repairs, and he was told that the reconstruction blueprint came from the DepEd central office and no coordination was undertaken with the town’s engineer.

The mayor also stressed that while the town is grateful to the DepEd’s immediate assistance in the aftermath of the calamity, the department must not compromise safety of the schoolchildren.

Meanwhile, the school opening here went smoothly on Tuesday, June 10, despite the extensive damage brought by the typhoon on May 17.

Eduviges de Vera, principal of the Binmaley North Elementary School, told The PUNCH that they have adopted two shifts for the classes to accommodate all students owing to the lack of classrooms.

It was the school’s Gabaldon building that houses eight classrooms, the principal’s office, and the school clinic that was badly damaged.

De Vera expressed optimism that the rehabilitation will be finished soon. #

Chalk + Talk = Physics?

June 19, 2008

The weak condition of science and math education in the country is a reflection of the underdevelopment of our economy and the skewed priorities of government.

BY REYNALDO V. LUNA
Prometheus Bound/Manila Times
Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 19, June 15-21, 2008

The economic growth of a country requires the development of skilled science and technology practitioners to serve the needs of a thriving domestic industry However, without a local industrial base, there will be no impetus to have an adequate number of technologically-skilled manpower.

The weak condition of science and math education in the country is a reflection of the underdevelopment of our economy and the skewed priorities of government. The training of graduates in science and technology should be towards the development of a local core of experts and not towards the continuing labor export. Adequate support should be provided to educational institutions, especially the state colleges and universities.

A case in point is the BS Physics program, which I recently finished, at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP). Ten years ago, I was offered to take up the course, with only a few freshmen enrollees and even fewer graduating students from the course. More than seven out of 10 freshmen Physics students did not choose this course willingly. Most took it because there were no more slots in other colleges or were advised by the school registrar. Our learning was through “chalk and talk” discussions with very little exposure to hands-on physics.

During our first and second years, we were able to use the remaining instruments like Vernier calipers, micrometers, beam balances and stopwatches; and standard experimental setups like the force table for studying vectors.

But as one advances to the third and fourth years, more and more experiments on higher Physics subjects are left to “chalk and talk” discussions as no equipment was available. The students move on even without exposure and familiarity with standard physics laboratory equipment. In my own field, acoustics, there were no oscilloscopes for experiments that are vital in visualizing sound waves.

Advanced experimental physics courses become a gedanken or thought (imagined) experiment. One discusses the concepts and the procedure; and the instructor just provides the data for the students to analyze since no setup could be used.

Although students had been paying laboratory fees, there are no computers for our numerical analysis subject. Programs on paper cannot be tested to compile since there is no space to type it in. Some students are able to test theirs on their home computers but those without one found it hard to grasp computer programming and were uncertain if their program will run correctly. Even the professors use the computers and projectors at their expense to be able to teach the class.
Before 2006, there was only one professor who handled nine subjects for Physics majors. This led to uneven focus on some of these subjects, undermining the understanding of the students regarding those subjects. New faculty were hired to bring new ideas and expose students to new physics researches but they eventually left the college because there were better job offers outside PUP.

Yet some alumni are bringing hope to PUP. Those who finished their Masters degree are returning to teach. They become thesis advisers and coordinators. They teach advanced courses and help widen the horizon and perspectives of the physics students with seminars and trainings to develop scientific skills.

Despite obsolete and outdated facilities and materials, students find other ways to gain knowledge and expertise by attending conferences, trainings and congresses. Student theses are being compiled and exhibited on cabinets to highlight a tedious and painstaking period of research. PUP physics students continue to bring pride and honor to the university in contests, winning the Champion and First-Runner Up slots in the 2008 Technological University of the Philippines Luzon-Wide Physics Contest.

The state of the physics program in PUP is a direct result of how the government has misprioritized education. Even with the recent incentives for students to enter science and mathematics, the corresponding support structures in universities, such as laboratories, teachers and classrooms, still need to be augmented. The BS Physics in PUP needs better physics laboratories, more qualified instructors and research collaboration with well-established institutions to reach its goal of becoming part of a recognized center of excellence in physics in the country.

The situation is not one to deter the PUP student. With our strong tradition of upholding our right to education, we actively participate in actions to promote quality and free education. We continue to strive and make science meaningful both to ourselves and to others. Manila Times/posted by Bulatlat

Mr. Reynold V. Luna, a new physicist member of AGHAM, teaches Physics in PUP and is taking up MS Physics at UP Diliman. He is the 2008 PUP class valedictorian and graduated magna cum laude in May.

opinion@manilatimes.net.

Students Plagued by Relentless Tuition Hikes

June 19, 2008

The Arroyo government’s directive for a freeze in tuition increases in state colleges and universities and its appeal for private colleges and universities to do the same are too late as schools, both public and private have already increased their tuition.

BY NOEL SALES BARCELONA
Contributed to Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 19, June 15-21, 2008

Jeff-Jeff, 22, an Accounting and Management student at De La Salle-Araneta (formerly the Gregorio Araneta University Foundation or GAUF), says seven out of 10 junior and senior students in his school are dropping out due to high tuition and miscellaneous fees.

Au, 21, a Political Science student at the City of Malabon University, meanwhile said a 100-percent increase in registration fees for Malabon residents and a 45-percent increase for non-Malabon residents prevented many incoming freshmen from enrolling. “They cannot afford to pay that much,” says Au, referring to the P3,000 and P4,000 registration fees, for Malabon and non-Malabon residents, respectively.

The fees exclude the uniforms, books, and other school needs—plus, the miscellaneous fees such as low-grade penalty, verification of grades fee, etc.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, faced by growing public concerns on the steep rise in prices of oil, power, rice and other prime goods and services, appealed to the state universities and colleges not to raise their tuition fees and give refunds for those that have already been collected.

CHED Commissioner Mona Ricafort said that since classes are about to start and enrollment is about to close, state institutions can just give refunds or credit the amount for the next semester. As for the private institutions, Ricafort said that all the government can do is to appeal to them not to increase their fees.

However, the private higher educational institutions have already increased their tuition and miscellaneous fees.

“In De La Salle-Araneta, they have already imposed a five-percent increase,” said Jeff-Jeff.

This is notwithstanding the deadlock that happened during the school’s consultation on tuition and other fees last May.

About 70 percent of college students are enrolled at private higher education institutions (HEIs).

“And these 1,363 private schools are the one notorious in increasing their tuition unjustly, precisely (because) the government refuses to regulate their collection of school fees,” said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairman of the League of Filipino Students (LFS).

According to Crisostomo, there is no reason to allow increases in tuition in private schools as most of the schools are raking in hundreds of millions of pesos in profits. He was referring to such schools as the University of the East (UE, owned by Henry Sy), Centro Escolar University (CEU), Mapua Institute of Technology (owned by the Yuchengco Group), Manila Central University (MCU), Far Eastern University (FEU, owned by the Montinolas), Feati University, National Teachers College (NTC), Cebu Doctors University, and Velez College which are consistently in the Top 1000 Corporations in the country based on data from Business World.

This year, 378 private HEIs have increased their matriculation fees by up to 10 percent on the average.

Catholic schools defended their tuition increases.

According to Joel Pagsanjan, the newly appointed executive director of Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), like the “suffering” public, private schools are also affected by the rising cost of living.

“It is important for private schools to have some flexibility,” said Pagsanjan in a statement, adding that market forces govern tuition rates.

This view was backed up by Manila’s Catholic Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, who said that the tuition increases imposed by the Catholic-run schools are not wrong.

“Tuitions fees are getting higher because Catholic schools are just trying to improve the standards of education,” the Cardinal said in a statement published in CBCPNews.com.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) reported that state universities have been increasing their tuition also at exorbitant rates.

The Philippine Normal University (PNU) now collects P100 ($2.25 at the June 13 exchange rate of $1:P44.41) per unit from its previous P35 ($0.76 at the 2007 average exchange rate of $1:P46.15) per unit, in tuition fees. However, since the tuition increase was ladderized, the PNU is expected to impose more tuition fee increases in the next five years.

In miscellaneous fees, there will be a 20-percent increase, for the period of two years, said Alvin Peters, NUSP’s chairperson.

In the University of Northern Philippines in Ilocos, there had been a P25 increase in units per subject, now making it P100 pesos per unit. Besides this, the UNP also increased their library, medical and dental, athletics and registration fees by P20 while charging P30 ($0.68) for the student handbook.

At the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa, Manila, students are being charged P250 ($5.63) as developmental fee, which, according to Student Regent Sophia del Prado, is illegal.

Dr. Divina T. Pasumbal, public information director of PUP, said in an interview last June 2 that the said developmental fee is legal and has the go-signal of the Board of Regents.

“Does SAMASA (Sandigan ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Sambayanan, the student party to which Del Prado belongs) have the evidence that will support their claim about the non-legality of the developmental fee?” said Pasumbal.

The Constitution provides that: “The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.” (Article XIV, Sec. 1)

Crisostomo said the government is continuously violating this provision. Contributed to Bulatlat

CEGP condemns adviser-meddling, harassment of Makati Collegian editors

June 18, 2008

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) denounces in strongest terms the adviser-meddling, violation of the Campus Journalism Act of 1991, and the harassment of editors of the Makati Collegian by the University of Makati administration.

The issue in the Makati Collegian sprung from the administration’ s unilateral designation of Dr. Teresa Solero as adviser of the Makati Collegian, in violation of the selection process stipulated in the CJA of 1991. The CJA of 1991 mandates that the incumbent editorial board of the Makati Collegian ‘shall make a recommendation of three (3) faculty members, and the administration shall choose a technical adviser from the recommended faculty.’ The editorial board, however, was not consulted on the designation.

The Makati Collegian rightfully refused to recognize Dr. Solero as adviser and this was when the University of Makati unleashed its attacks on campus press freedom and the democratic rights of Makati Collegian Editor-in-Chief Jeneffere Buenaventura and members of its editorial board Adora Joy V. Borja (Managing Editor) and Dannilyn C. de Castro (Associate Editor). (Attached herewith is the complainants’ complete account of the chronology of events.)

Last February 2008, the University of Makati, upon the order of Dr. Solero, renovated the publication office, making it impossible for Makati Collegian editors and staff to access the publication office. Not long after, Dr. Solero announced the establishment of the Studium Generale Publication (SGP) as the school’s official publication to replace the Makati Collegian and rendering it ‘defunct’.

What came after were a barrage of unfounded accusations and actions by the University of Makati administration through Dr. Solero:

  1. A sudden investigation of alleged complaints by students with regards to the Makati Collegian’s financial statements. Said complaints were never appropriately presented to the editorial board and copies were never furnished to them.

The mere fact that the so-called investigation against Buenaventura et al were merely jointly performed by Dr. Solero and Prof. Joselito Mendoza, the so-called designated Investigating Officer of the Studium Generale Publication, is illegal in itself. Firstly, they have no authority to conduct the investigation under Dr. Solero’s position as a mere technical adviser. Secondly, investigations should be a result of complaints filed to the student disciplinary committee, which Dr. Solero failed to produce. Thirdly, the respondents (Buenaventura et al) should be properly informed in writing of the nature and cause of the accusations against them. And lastly, the investigation should be conducted by a duly-constituted student disciplinary committee.

Moreover, the Makati Collegian editorial board has also submitted the financial statements for AY 2007-2008, albeit a bit late because of their difficulty to access the publication office. All remaining funds of the publication are still intact and accounted for.

  1. Insistence and forceful demand of Dr. Solero for the turnover of publication funds to her (i.e. the remaining funds for AY 2007-2008). The editorial board refused to turn over funds because the legitimacy of the establishment of the SGP is in question. Furthermore, the refusal to turnover funds is perfectly legitimate since the Makati Collegian is STILL the official publication of the university.
  1. When the editorial board refused to comply with abovementioned demands, the University of Makati released an order holding the enrolment of Buenaventura. It also allegedly released a memorandum from the Office of the University President stating such an order, but as of press time no such memo had been presented to Buenaventura.

Borja’s registration was also cancelled and de Castro’s academic credentials were withheld.

  1. Of all these, Dr. Solero failed to furnish Buenaventura and the editorial board with pertinent papers and formal written documents to support her accusations and actions. They were also not given the opportunity to air their side on the matter.

The CEGP condemns Dr. Solero and the University of Makati administration’ s grave abuse of discretion and authority resulting in the harassment of the Makati Collegian’s editors and the eventual closure of the publication.

The CEGP also criticizes Dr. Solero and the University of Makati administration for their deliberate and malicious disregard of due process and legitimate procedures.

The CEGP demands that Buenaventura et al be allowed to enroll. Regardless of accusations against them, the University of Makati does not hold the right, and in fact has no basis, to hold their registration for the present school year.

The CEGP has also already submitted a complaint to the Office of Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino, former CEGP President (1991-1994), requesting for an investigation of the illegal closure of the Makati Collegian, the harassment of its editors, Dr. Solero’s violations of the CJA of 1991, and the illegal establishment of the administration- led SGP.

The CEGP likewise urges the office of Makati Rep. Abigail Binay to look into the case. The University of Makati is a local government unit-run university.

The CEGP expresses its fullest support to Buenaventura and the editorial board of the Makati Collegian in their fight against what could be considered as one of the most blatant attacks on campus press freedom and students’ democratic rights.

Furthermore, the CEGP scores Dr. Solero for questioning the Guild’s concern in this case, accusing its leadership of ‘meddling’ in behalf of the Makati Collegian editorial board. For the record, the Makati Collegian is a member publication of the CEGP and the Guild willingly extends its support to any members who are under attack.

The CEGP has so far documented 297 cases of campus press freedom violations from 53 respondent campus publications last May. ###

8-hour workday for teachers

June 17, 2008

BY ASHZEL HACHERO

EDUCATION Secretary Jesli Lapus yesterday ordered the implementation of the eight-hour workday for public elementary and high school teachers.

Lapus said teachers now have to do six hours of actual classroom teaching and use the remaining two hours to make lesson plans and engage in other school activities.

Over and above the six-hour classroom work and the eight-hour workday, a teacher can charge overtime pay. Lunch breaks are not included in the new timetable.

The guidelines are in accordance with the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (R.A. 4670).

Lapus said the order would give public school teachers more time to “innovate and enhance classroom teaching.”

Under Memorandum Order 291, public school teachers shall render at most six hours of actual classroom teaching a day except when undertaking academic activities that require presence outside the school premises such as educational trips.

School heads shall assign teaching loads to fully utilize the six-hour actual classroom teaching, i.e., one hour per teaching load with due regard for possible teaching intervals. Advisorship and/or special assignments for the entire school year combined shall be considered as one teaching load.

The two hours of teaching-related work within or outside the school premises includes preparation of lesson plans, action plans, instructional materials, evaluation/assessment of rubrics, preparation and checking of exercises, recording of academic performance and classroom accomplishments, conduct of research, attendance to seminars, workshops and similar programs, counseling, mentoring, coaching of students including home visits.

It also includes consultation with parents, performance of coordination activities and recognized community social services, and participation in the improvement and maintenance of school facilities.

In the exigency of the service, a teacher may be required to render more than six hours of teaching and more than eight hours of workday, provided they are given additional pay computed at the same hourly rate of the regular compensation, plus a premium of 25 percent of the hourly rate for actual classroom teaching in excess of six hours and for work performed in excess of eight hours.

Overtime pay can only be claimed for actual teaching and /or work performed within the school premises. In the event of non-availability of funds, service credits shall be granted and a one-hour overtime work shall be counted as 1.25 hours for purposes of determining the service credits.

Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) president Benjo Basas said teachers have finally been given a lighter load after four decades of asking for it.

Basas said teachers have complained that their daily work grind is too heavy because they also have to do administrative work and sometimes act as athletic coaches, judges in school contests, and even chaperons in intra-school competitions. Teachers are also required to serve as election inspectors.

He said many teachers have developed work-related diseases, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, because of long nights and days of looking after students, their lesson guides and even the school itself. (Malaya)

Modus operandi sa matrikula

June 14, 2008

pataas nang pataas (KJ Rosales)

PASASALAMAT sana si Auline “Au” Hipolito, 19-na-taong-gulang na anak ng mga manggagawa, na di na siya kailangang lumayo para magkolehiyo. Madaling lakarin sa araw-araw ang CMU o City of Malabon University, pamantasang matatagpuan sa pinakapusod ng maralitang komunidad sa Dagat-dagatan, at dating reklamasyong ipinagawa ni dating gobernador Imelda Romualdez Marcos.

Pasalamat sana siya, pero dahil na rin sa pagtindi ng krisis, nagiging mahirap ang manatili sa eskuwela. Senior na siya ngayon sa kursong Political Science, pero pinag-iisipan na ni Au kung kakayanin pa ng mga magulang niya ang magpaaral.

Itinatag noong 1992, nakatuon dapat ang CMU sa edukasyong pangkolehiyo ng kalakhan ng populasyon ng Malabon na binubuo ng mga mangingisda at ordinaryong manggagawa. Pero di kalauna’y tila “nahawa” na ito sa uso: pagtataas ng bayarin ng mga estudyante.

“Maraming freshman ang di na nagtuloy dahil malaki ang itinaas ng registration fee,” ani Au. Sinisingil ang mga residente ng Malabon na papasok ngayong taon ng P3,000 mula sa dating P1,500 lang. Para naman sa mga di residente, P4,000 mula sa dating P2,750.

Nitong nakaraang buwan, mayabang na idineklara ni Pangulong Arroyo na hindi puwedeng magtaas ng matrikula ang mga SCU (state colleges and universities). Di agad naisip ng Pangulo na nang ideklara niya ang pagbabawal, tapos na ang enrollment sa kalakhan ng mga pamantasan. Kung kaya, noong huling linggo ng Mayo, sinabi niyang ire-refund na lang sa mga estudyante ang binayarang dagdag sa matrikula.

Pero matrikula lang ang sakop ng deklarasyon. Sa kaso ng CMU – at marami pang SCU – nailusot pa rin ang pagtaas ng bayarin dahil maraming iba pang fee ang sinisingil sa mga estudyante.

“Sabi nila, hindi matrikula ang binabayaran namin dahil binayaran naman daw ito ng lokal na gobyerno. Pero parang matrikula na rin siya, di ba? Kasi, di ka naman makakapasok kung di mo siya mababayaran agad,” sabi pa ni Au.

Balik-bayad: kaya ba?
Hindi maiwasang magduda ng mga organisasyong pangkabataan kung kayang tupdin ng mga SCU ang balik-bayad na kautusan ng Malakanyang. Una sa lahat, ni wala pang malinaw na mekanismo kung paano ito gagawin.

Maging ang Ched, hanggang ngayon, tahimik pa rin sa kautusang balik-bayad sa mga paaralang pinapatakbo ng gobyerno.

Sa ngayon, wala pang ni isang SCU na nagtaas ng matrikula ang nag-refund alinsunod sa utos ni Arroyo. Sa NCR (National Capital Region), isa sa mga nagtaas ng matrikula ang programang Open University ng PUP (Politeknikong Unibersidad ng Pilipinas). Mula P12 kada yunit, itinaas ito sa P100. Tutal, nakatuon naman sa nagtatrabaho nang mga estudyante ang Open University, inisip marahil ng administrasyon, na kaya nilang pasanin ang mataas na dagdag-bayarin.

Pero ang masama pa, kapag itinataas ang ibang bayarin bukod sa matrikula, wala nang habol ang mga estudyante.

Sa mga eskuwelahang iniikutan ng NUSP (National Union of Students of the Philippines), alyansa ng mga konseho ng mag-aaral sa iba’t ibang kolehiyo’t pamantasan, di na madalas mapag-usapan ang tuition refund. Imbes na balik-bayad, nagiging taas-bayad pa. Hindi man nadagdagan ang matrikula, todo-larga naman ang pagtaas ng miscellaneous fee at iba pang bayarin.

Ang problema pa, wala namang deklarasyon ang Pangulo ng refund na sumasaklaw sa mga bayaring hindi matrikula.

Ayon kay Alvin Peters, pangulo ng NUSP, ito ang madalas na modus operandi ng mga eskuwelahang pangkolehiyo. Maraming halimbawa rito:

• Sa University of Northern Philippines sa Vigan, Ilocos Sur, mula sa dating miscellaneous fee na P75 kada yunit, nasa P100 na siya ngayon. Bukod pa sa dagdag na P20 sa mga bayarin sa paggamit ng library, serbisyong medikal at dental, athletics at maging sa registration fee.
• Sa Philippine Normal University naman sa Maynila, sinimulan na ang pagsingil para sa 400 porsiyentong taas-matrikula na nagkabisa noon pang 2003, dagdag ni Peters.
• Abala naman ang PUP sa kosmetikong “pagpapaganda” ng main campus nito sa Sta. Mesa, kaya itinaas nito ang sinisingil na energy fee, development and modernization fee, at iba pa. May ilang kolehiyong nagtaas ng miscellaneous fee. College of Computer Management, mula P500-600, naging P1000 ang miscellaneous fee.

“Sa amin naman sa CMU, may ganyang mga dagdag din. Mula sa admission test hanggang sa verification of grades. Huwag nang isama pa ang interes sa hinuhulug-hulugan mong mga bayarin na limang porsiyento. Kapag hindi ka nakaabot sa grade ceiling, may multa ka rin,” himutok ni Au.

Kung di maitatakda ang panuntunan at kung paano ipapatupad ang binabalak na balik-bayad sa sobrang singil sa mga SUC, malabong maisakatuparan ang kautusang ito ni Pang. Arroyo,” sabi pa ni Peters.

Sa eskuwelahang Katoliko…
Samantala, lusot din sa deklarasyon ni Arroyo ang pang-akademikong mga institusyong pinapatakbo ng Simbahang Katoliko – sa simpleng dahilang di naman sila maaaring diktahan ng gobyerno.

Katoliko ang marami sa pribadong mga pamantasan, pero tila hindi Kristiyanismo kundi kapitalismo ang pangunahing prinsipyong namamayani sa mga pamantasang ito. “Market-driven” o nakadepende kasi sa takbo ng pamilihan ang kanilang “produkto,” ayon kay Joel Pagsanjan, kahahalal na direktor-ehekutibo ng Ceap (Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines), samahan ng mga unibersidad at kolehiyong tuwirang pinapatakbo o may kaugnayan sa Simbahang Katoliko.

Binigyang-diin ni Pagsanjan na kung di sila magtataas ng matrikula, di mapapabuti ang mga pasilidad at maitataas ang suweldo ng mga guro na malaking salik para maiangat ang kalidad ng edukasyong ibinibigay ng kanilang institusyon.

Sa kasalukuyan, wala pang datos kung gaano kalaki ang itinaas ng matrikula sa pribadong mga pamantasan at kolehiyo. Gayunman, inamin ni Pagsanjan na karamihan sa mga ito ay inaasahang magtataas. Paliwanag ni Gaudencio Kardinal Rosales ng Maynila, “Tumataas nang tumataas ang bilihin kaya makatuwiran lang na magtaas tayo ng singil.”

“Pinagsusumikapan ng mga paaralan nating mapagbuti ang kalidad ng edukasyon. Isa pa, kahit mataas ang singil, marami pa rin namang nagpapatala sa mga paaralang Katoliko dahil sa de-kalidad na edukasyong iniaalok ng mga ito,” dagdag ng kardinal.

Masasabi marahil na may kalidad nga ang mga pamantasan at kolehiyong Katoliko, tulad ng Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle System, University of Sto. Tomas, Miriam College, at San Beda College. Pero di maikakailang malaki rin ang taunang kinikita ng mga pamantasang ito.
Samantala, sa ibang pribadong paaralan, gaya nang Emilio Aguinaldo College, sumisirit din ang halaga ng matrikula.

Patakarang gawing negosyo ang edukasyon
Isinisisi ng LFS (League of Filipino Students) at Kabataang Pinoy Party-list sa di pagsunod ng gobyerno sa itinatakda ng Konstitusyong 1987 ang patuloy na pagtaas ng halaga ng edukasyon sa bansa.

Ani Vencer Crisostomo, tagapangulo ng LFS, sa halip na ilaan ang pinakamalaking bahagi ng pambansang badyet sa badyet para sa edukasyon, patuloy pang kinakaltasan ang huli para mabigyang-daan ang aniya’y “komersiyalisasyon” ng pampublikong edukasyon.

“Itinakda ng Artikulo 14 ng ating Konstitusyon na dapat lumikha ng isang mapagkakatiwalaan at mahusay na sistema ng edukasyon ang gobyerno at dapat na maglaan ng mataas na badyet para rito. Pero taliwas sa mga itinatadhanang ito ng Konstitusyon ang nangyayari sa kasalukuyan,” paliwanag ni Crisostomo.

Hindi naniniwala si Crisostomo na walang kakayahan ang gobyerno, partikular ang Ched, na kontrolin ang taas-matrikula sa pribadong mga paaralan.

Aniya, itinatadhana rin ng Konstitusyon ang pagbibigay-kapangyarihan sa gobyerno na pamahalaan at lagyan ng regulasyon ang umiiral na mga institusyong pang-edukasyon sa bansa.
“Mismong pinakamataas na batas sa bansa ang nagsasabing dapat kayang-kaya ng bulsa ng mga Pilipino ang pag-aaral sa kolehiyo. Pero mukhang malabo ito dahil sa palpak na mga patakaran ng gobyerno,” aniya pa.

Binibigyang-laya ng mga polisiya ng gobyerno tulad ng Education Act of 1982 at Higher Education Modernization Act of 1998 ang mga administrasyon ng mga SCU na magtaas ng matrikula. Pero bukod pa dito, mahihinuha ang direksiyong unti-unting tinutungo ng mga SCU – ang pagsasapribado ng edukasyon, tulad ng pagsasapribado sa ibang serbisyong panlipunan ng gobyerno.

Mababatid sa mga SCU tulad ng CMU ang direksiyong gustong tahakin ng gobyerno. Gusto nitong tularan ang pribadong mga pamantasan, na nagsasabing kailangang magtaas para maging “de-kalidad.” May iba pa sanang maaaring tularan, iba pang alternatibo ng libre pero de-kalidad na edukasyon (Basahin ang kaugnay na istorya), pero di na ito tinatanaw ng mga SCU. Nakapailalim sila sa pangkalahatang polisiya ng gobyernong Arroyo.

Ito ang lagay ng pulitikang pang-edukasyon sa bansa, ang uri ng pulitikang natutunan ni Au sa labas ng mga klase sa Political Science sa City of Malabon University.

Alternatibo ng de-kalidad – pero murang – edukasyon

Tulad ng idinedeklara ng Saligang Batas ng Pilipinas, idinedeklara rin ng Saligang Batas ng Germany na responsabilidad ng gobyerno na papag-aralin ang mga mamamayan nito.
Pero kaiba sa Pilipinas, tinototoo ng Germany ang deklarasyong ito. Mula sa kindergarten hanggang unibersidad, may mekanismo ang mga estado ng pederal na gobyerno ng Germany na magbigay ng edukasyon.

Opsiyonal ang kindergarten sa Germany — ibig sabihin, hindi kailangang kunin ng bata bago makapasok ng elementarya. Pero sa mga may gusto, may mga eskuwelahan ang mga estado na nakalaan sa mga batang may edad tatlo hanggang 10. Magmula siyam na taon, required nang pag-aralin ng mga magulang ang kanilang mga anak – na hindi naman kaso, dahil libre ito.

Mahigpit ang Germany sa polisiyang kailangang mag-aral ang mga bata sa regular na eskuwelahan. Kung may seryosong sakit o disabilidad lang ang bata pinapayagan siyang mapasailalim sa home schooling.

Tumatagal ng apat na taon (at anim sa Berlin) ang elementarya. Pag tuntong sa sekundaryong pag-aaral, naihahanay ang mga bata sa apat na uri ng eskuwelahan: (1) Gymnasium, para sa mga batang may espesyal na abilidad; (2) Realschule para sa mga nangangailangan ng malawak na saklaw ng pag-aaral; (3) Hauptschule para sa mga mag-aaral ng edukasyong bokasyonal; (4) Gesamtschule para sa mga batang kailangan ang kombinasyon ng naunang tatlong klase. Mayroon ding Förderschulen para sa mga batang may problema sa pag-iisip o kapansanan.

Matapos ang sekundaryong edukasyon, may opsiyon ang mga estudyante na pumaloob sa sistema ng apprenticeship na tinatawag na Duale Ausbildung kung saan sinasanay ang mga estudyanteng matanggap sa trabaho sa mga kompanya ng Estado.

Kung may sapat na kakayahan ang estudyante, nariyan ang opsiyon ng pagpasok sa pamantasan. Karamihan sa mga unibersidad sa Germany, pag-aari ng Estado – libre ang edukasyon at mangilan-ngilan lang ang pribado.

Kinikilala sa daigdig ang matagumpay at de-kalidad na sistema ng edukasyon sa Germany. Katunayan, sampu sa 200 kinikilalang pinakamahusay na pamantasan sa mundo ang matatagpuan sa bansang ito.

Mga magandang malaman sa edukasyong Pinoy

• 60 porsiyento, o anim sa sampung mag-aaral sa kolehiyo ang nasa pribadong paaralan
• Doble ang itinaas ng matrikula, sa kabuuan, nang maupo sa puwesto si Pang. Arroyo noong 2001
• Pinakamura pa ring mag-aral sa PUP: P12 kada yunit. Pero may dagdag-bayad: P250 para sa proyekto ng pagpapaganda sa paaralan
• Pinakamahal mag-aral sa University of Asia and the Pacific: P124,800 ang kailangang bayaran sa loob ng isang taon
• Pangalawa sa pinakamahal ang De La Salle University (bagaman mura ang ilang kaugnay nitong kolehiyo gaya ng nasa Antipolo, Rizal): P110,447.82 para sa isang taon (trimester kasi)
• Bagaman pimakamahal kada yunit ang mag-aral sa Ateneo de Manila (P2,517), “mura” pa ring mag-aral dito dahil kailangan mo lang magbayad ng P90,613 kada taon, para sa 18 yunit na full-term
• Mahal na ring mag-aral sa UP dahil P1,000 kada yunit na ang kailangang bayaran, o P36,000 para sa buong taon
• Ang matrikula ngayon sa UP ay mas mahal pa kaysa sa San Beda College (P786 kada yunit) at sa College of Holy Spirit sa Maynila (P903.91 kada yunit)
• Kaunti lang ang lamang — P100 lang — ng UP sa bayarin sa FEU (P1,100); P40 naman sa UE (P1,040); P72.90 sa UST (P1,072.90)
• Dahil sa taas ng matrikula sa ngayon, inaasahang sa bawat dalawang papasok ng kolehiyo, isa lang ang makakatapos.

Noel Sales Barcelona(PinoyWeekly)

Friday the 13th noise barrage calls on youth to ‘drive away evils of society’

June 13, 2008

YOUTH ACT NOW! (Youth for Accountability and Truth Now!) participated in the metro-wide noise barrage protest spearheaded by concerned citizen groups later this afternoon.

Students from different schools and universities around Metro Manila converged in various protest points for the noise barrage. Among those who participated were students from UP, PUP, UP Manila, St. Scholastica, PNU, PLM, Lyceum, Miriam, JRU, TIP and PSBA.

The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), Student Christian Movement, Kabataang Pinoy, Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, youth artists’ group KARATULA , Youth Revolt, Kabataang Kristiyano para sa Bayan and the Liga ng Kabataang Moro participated in the noise barrage.

High school students and out of school youth from different urban poor communities also joined the activity.

“How fitting to conduct our opening salvo of students’ weekly protests today, Friday the 13th, a statement and commitment to drive away the evils of society,” said Alvin Peters, YOUTH ACT NOW! Spokesperson.

Bearing streamers and placards with the words, ‘Youth act now for meaningful social change!‘, the youth participants called on the government to address different issues ranging from political anomalies to the worsening economic crisis.

For his part, CEGP national president Vijae Alquisola said, “We have re-united our ranks since the school opening and we have resolved to up the ante of protests. There is a collective clamor among youth and students to demand accountability from this government not only for numerous corruption issues but also for the rising cost of education and the Arroyo administration’ s lack of political will to curb unabated price hikes.”

Peters said that YOUTH ACT NOW! will conduct weekly protests that are expected to escalate towards a nationwide ‘walkout protest’ by July, before Pres. Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address. ###

Dentistry cost limit enrollees

June 12, 2008

BAGUIO CITY — Pursuing a dentistry career is attracting more students as shown in the increasing enrollment in one of the colleges here. But the high investment in the course limits enrollees, according to Baguio City Dental Society officials.

In a special Kapihan at the Lion’s Club here, BCDS Public Relations Officer (PRO) Charles Baguilat said the tuition used to be P6,000 per semester at the Centro Escolar University in Manila. Now it is around P35,00 to P40,000 per semester, depending on the school.

“It is much cheaper in University of Baguio,” said Dr. Ruthgar Tecson, department head of the College of Dentistry, who said the tuition is around P560 per unit.

Tecson said UB freshmen classes in the College of Dentistry steadily grows each year and is starting to attract more. “Unlike in the previous years when enrollment really plunged because almost everybody wanted to be a nurse,” he said.

The Pines City Educational Institution charges P418 per unit on Dentistry.

A career in dentistry requires a two-year pre-dental course, followed by a four-year proper dentistry. Specialization in orthodontics or pediatric dentistry requires more years of proficiency training. Post graduate seminars and trainings are needed to renew the three-year professional license for dentists.

“Sometimes the trainings are held abroad that entails more expenses for dental professionals,” said BCDS incoming President Sylvestre Samson III. He said the long years of training for the dentistry profession makes the course expensive.

Besides long years of academic training Baguilat said, graduates in Dentistry have to put up their own clinic; procure their own equipment and clinic furnishings; and establish their own operation. “This (putting up a clinic) makes the dental course even more costly and difficult to pursue,” he said.

Besides, the entry into the College of Dentistry requires a dental clearance, Baguilat said. This is usually the problem with incoming freshmen, who are not properly advised about the dental checks-up and treatment done before they are admitted into the college.

“They either end up returning to their respective provinces to get more money for the needed dental check-up or they could not qualify due to some oral health inadequacies,” he said.

“Walang dentist na nagugutom,” (No dentist starves) Baguilat said, insinuating the profession offers a lucrative income and a comfortable life. “But dentists do not get rich,” he quipped. He said there are a lot of dentists in town for a limited market.

Standardization in the cost of dental education is yet to be achieved and is being worked out by dental associations. Like the cost of dental treatment, which depends largely on the academic and professional background of the dentist, the quality of service and the materials used in the treatment and the procedures, the cost of dental education varies depending on the school facilities, its faculty and the quality of education and training one gets, according to Samson. # Lyn V. Ramo(NorthernDispatch)


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