By JULIE ANN DOROJA
BAGUIO CITY — Konsultahang Kabataan (KonKab) was successfully conducted in Saint Louis University (SLU) and University of the Cordillera (UC) last March 16, 2018.
KonKab is a regular activity of Kabataan Partylist aimed to grasp better situational analysis for the concerns and pressing issues faced by the students and youth sector.
“Kabataan Partylist is the sole representative of the youth sector in the 17th Congress, our voice indeed holds significance not only in legislation in the Congress but in advancing the interest of the youth in all platforms available”, said Christian Dave Ruz, Kabataan Partylist-Cordillera regional coordinator.
The KonKab conducted in SLU is in line with the SLU’s KASAMA/SSC’s rights week initiative where Rep. Elago was one of their invited speakers.
“This is a great opportunity for us to unite as youth, especially during this time that we are vulnerable to state-perpetuated violence and subjects to anti-people policies”, said Kabataan representative Sarah Elago.
During the consultation, students from SLU raised concerns regarding their annual tuition and other school fees increase (TOFI) and their deteriorating school facilities. Also, some students raised their concern regarding the Charter Change being pushed by some big politicians and political parties such as the PDP-Laban.
“Speak up! It is necessary for the youth to voice out our opinion and fight for what is just and right”, said Elago before the SLU students.
Student leaders and journalists of UC gathered on the same day for a KonKab with Elago.
Alarming concerns were raised mainly by senior high school students regarding the school’s skyrocketing tuition and other school fees and raised some anomalies regarding the K12 program.
“We are made to pay thousands of money (pesos) yet we are getting less than what we deserve. Isn’t education a right in the first place?”, grieved one grade 12 student in UC.
“We are obliged to produce and give out free promotional brochures to make UC earn more money as our projects in the school. While we pay for the high cost for our education, we are also being used for further money-making”, they added.
Also, a new program in UC’s K12 is said to begin this coming academic year. The program is called “innovation class” where students enrolling in this program are to pay at least Php50,000 a year to enjoy “better” education.
With these, the local chapter of Kabataan Partylist in the region committed to go back to these universities to further investigate and deepen their understanding of the student’s and youth situation to be able to sharpen their plans for appropriate actions.
“Our fight goes on with exposing and opposing all unjust tuition and other school fees increase as we assert our right to free and quality education. Also, we shall continue to call to junk the anti-poor and pro-big foreign business K12 program.
All these, we struggle hand-in-hand with the different sectors of our society, as we condemn the intensifying tyrannical rule of the Duterte administration and its aim to restore another fascist dictatorship.” said Ruz. # nordis.net