August 14, 2017

“Secure the youth’s right to education, junk K12” – NUSP

The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) stands firm on its position that junking the K-12 program of the Aquino regime is the right thing to do to ensure the security of the youth’s right to education.

NUSP questions the figures provided by the Department of Education (DepEd) in media that already “1 million students” have already enrolled in Grade 11 for the academic year (AY) 2016-2017. Only 2 out of 10 public schools offer senior high, while 9 out 10 private schools offer the program.

“Does the DepEd really think that students consigned to take on the high cost of private education will really be able to afford SHS with just a meager subsidy? The P22,500 voucher cannot even wholly pay a year’s worth of tuition,” NUSP spokesperson Kevin Castro said.

In a study by the League of Filipino Students (LFS), the average cost of tuition and other fees in private senior high schools cost between P30,000 to P70,000. Moreover, costs relating to education such as daily allowance, transportation, accommodation, among others, are not even included.

“We challenge DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro to show us factual information that enrollment in senior high school has really reached 1 million students. Reports on the ground from the teachers and the parents actually show the contrary. The DepEd has all the means to manipulate data, and they can do such act systematically to only prove their claims that this year is the ‘best school opening so far,’” Castro added.

“Have backlogs really been fulfilled? On the first day of school, students saw classroom buildings still being constructed, forcing them to have their classes in corridors and under the trees. Armchairs are decaying as they have been used for the longest time. Books are not just lacking, they also contain content leading students away from nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented education,” Castro further said.

Teachers are still being sought by DepEd until now as schools lack instructors as well.

“This so-called globalization just forces the Philippines to create cheap, docile and reserved laborers out of the Filipino youth to satisfy the illusory fantasy perpetuated by neoliberal capitalists. How can this government only think of the interests of the foreign and local elite by making money of the students and parents’ pockets,” Castro told.

“Without a shred of doubt, the K-12 program is not ready to be implemented. It will not push for the genuine interests of the Filipino people, and should be junked,” Castro continued.

Youth groups and other multi-sectoral groups gathered Saturday, June 25, to intensify further the campaign calling for the stopping of the K12 program. The gathering successfully laid down the people’s demand to oppose neoliberal policies in education, especially Aquino’s K12 program.

“The Filipino people will take the fight on the streets. We will march on July 13, the National Day of Action against K12, to show the Filipinos’ strong opposition of this ongoing anti-people policy on education. K12 is not and will never be the basic education reform that the Filipinos need,” Castro ended.

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