Imagine yourself some years ago, when we were on our high school years and all we had were our creative and dreamful ambitions. I remember the very ambition I had at that time was to get myself to UP also known as the country’s premiere university. And not only it was my dream alone, I shared it with almost every high school student who believed that UP, more than it delivers quality education, is a state university for the lesser-privileged students who actually need subsidy to sustain their tertiary education.
Last year, on December 15, the Tuition and Other Fees Increase (TOFI) of UP
was approved at a Board of Regents Meeting at the College of Law. While we commend the efforts of the UP administration to solve the perennial financial deficit of the University, we in KAISA – Nagkakaisang Iskolar Para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan, do not agree with the method by which it aims to solve this problem – by raising and adjusting tuition and miscellaneous fees.
As scholars and activist, we are fully aware of the University’s dire need to upgrade its infrastructure and teaching needs in order to develop the University as a world-class institution of higher learning. Yet the measures that the UP administration approves in order to reverse the University’s financial difficulties pose a great threat to the student’s ability to enter UP and finance his or her education. For one, information dissemination, not consultation, took place.
KAISA wishes to forward our own alternatives to the pressing need to finance UP education. First, repeal the approved TOFI, re-convene the Committees and re-design the studies to make it more inclusive. Instead, push for the productive utilization of the University’s idle assets. And second, fight for greater State subsidy.
In the face of broad opposition to the approval of TOFI, KAISA believes that it is wiser for the UP administration to reconsider its stance, get back in the drawing board, and ensure that all stakeholders will be involved in crafting viable yet just proposals.
No to TOFI! Yes to Productive Utilization of Idle Assets! Continue to fight for greater state subsidy! Let us show our protest to the approval of TOFI by involving ourselves with education discussions, fora, and signature campaigns as regards to this very untimely issue. This only not concerns the UP system alone but for all schools offering public education as well. Let us be involved, now!