With the expected surge in the transference of students from private schools and universities to state universities and colleges (SUCs), the College Editor’s Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) have nothing but the increasing cost of education to point out as the primary cause.
This trend is not surprising as the increasing cost of education is happening simultaneously with an economic crisis manifested by regular increases in oil prices and other commodities and services, lack of employment and the consequent disparity between the workers’ wage and the cost of living. However, this case becomes more problematic as the preparation of SUCs for this exodus is doubtable. The budget cut in education for this year, particularly the 1.69 billion cut in the funds of SUCs nationwide, only increases the doubt on whether the quality of education in SUCs will still serve well the interests of the students. The budget cut will compel school administrators to find other means by which they can continue their operation. The easiest resort they can think of is also increasing the school fees, making them almost alike private institutions.
In the end, the students are caught in a quandary, definitely a no-win situation. Forced to do with SUCs, students are greeted with fees that are not far from the fees in private schools and facilities that are obviously sub-par with those of private schools. Here, we are pointing out the commercialized orientation of education in the country which leads to the blurred distinction between SUCs and private schools. SUCs that are supposed to offer quality education at a cheap cost are no longer living up to these expectations. Ultimately, the students find themselves at the losing end, as education seems to them no longer a right for everyone but a privilege for those who can pay.
COLLEGE EDITOR’S GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES BAGUIO-BENGUET
Ivan Emil Labayne, 09268105915