STUDENTS FROM THE PHILIPPINE Normal University (PNU), Pambansang Pederasyon ng mga Lider-Estudyante ng Pamantasang Normal ng Pilipinas (PPLEPNP) and the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) storm the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) today, May 3, 2012, to call for the deferment of the scheduled Board of Regents (BOR) meeting where salient student issues such as tuition, dormitory and other school fees increases and impositions will be discussed.
According to Einstein Recedes, NUSP spokesperson, tuition increase and any other school fees increase makes “paying Iskolars ng Bayan” out of Filipino students. “Perennial slashes in the education budget have forced state universities such as PNU to radically privatize and commercialize public education via tuition, miscellaneous and other school fees increases,” stresses Recedes.
“What future do our future teachers have if the BOR approves a spate of tuition and other school fees increases? There is no future teacher who envisions having a dim future,” said Arnold-John Bulanadi, outgoing Student Regent and President of the PPLEPNP.
Fee increases and impositions up for discussion in the BOR meeting are as follows: dormitory fee increase (P350 to P450) at PNU Isabela campus, tuition increase for foreign students, and an additional P200 payment for the Proposed Web-Based School System (PWEBBS). Also included in the BOR agenda are underrepresentation of the student sector in the recent meeting of the Bids and Awards Committee for PWEBBS, budgetary misallocation in the Student Development Fund, revision of the Faculty Manual, among others.
“Now, more than ever, we need a Student Regent who will genuinely defend and protect the democratic rights and interests of the student sector and the PNU community,” says Bulanadi. The PNU administration, according to Bulanadi, has intervened in the selection of the interim SR and has undermined the autonomy of the PPLEPNP to choose the interim SR, as mandated by its constitution and by-laws. Protesters call on the BOR to defer the meeting since the student sector is misrepresented by an interim SR undemocratically selected by the PNU administration.
“It is high time for the PNU community to be vigilant and assertive in defending student representation in PNU’s highest policy-making body,” says Michael Angelo Esposo, spokesperson of the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in PNU (STAND PNU). “We are both anguished and angered by the PNU administration’s political maneuvering. We cannot help but surmise that this is connected to student matters in the BOR’s agenda. Our outgoing Student Regent, Arnold-John Bulanadi, was staunch in opposing any form of school fees increase since such is tantamount to privatizing education,” Esposo exclaims.
Mr. Arnold-John S. Bulanadi ( 09158252327) President, PPLEPNP
Mr. Einstein Recedes (09156469177) Spokesperson, NUSP
Mr. Michael Esposo (09157761959) Spokesperson, STAND PNU