By JHAMES PAREDES
TUGUEGARAO CITY — Kabataan Partylist-Cagayan Valley (KPL-CV) is enraged over the recent results of the Cagayan State University- College Admission Test (CSU-CAT). Last June 4, CSU announced that only 4,749 examinees passed out of the 10,523 hopefuls who took the test last May 20.
Students and their parents took to social media to express their dismay. One non-passer posted, “How about our dreams of alleviating the poverty of our family? We could only afford CSU and no other university (here).” The huge online uproar garnered mixed sentiments on the issue, but most had urged CSU to reconsider its decision.
According to KPL National Council member Deoxier Ribo C. Agub, “the basic right to education is for all, and the passage of RA 10931 or Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act was done to ensure greater accessibility for the Filipino youth.”
“Here in the province of Cagayan, CSU is the only existing state university, and therefore the only option for most students who come from poor families of farmers,” added Agub.
CSU’s current Vice President for Administration and Finance, Rev. Fr. Ranhilio C. Aquino, insisted that the 5,774 failed students shall be barred from entering the university. In his Facebook post, he stated that “everything is in accordance to RA 10931 (Free Tuition Law). The restrictive exam was implemented to ensure academically qualified and deserving students,” and further emphasized that “a state university like CSU is not obligated to provide university education to all.”
In response, Agub stands firm that the admission test should be used as a guide to bridge the academic gap from basic education to higher education and must be used as an instrument to gauge the needs and interests of the examinees.
“Based on the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10931, the Commission on Higher Education is also responsible for the dire plight of the students, since it has relinquished power to SUC boards to formulate their own admission and retention policies without regulated procedures and monitoring systems in place that protects the rights of the youth to free education,” stated Agub.
Echoing their statement on the issue, Agub reiterates that “education is a state responsibility, and therefore the government should abolish restrictive policies like the Return Service Agreement. Free education does not only translate to no collection of fees, but also liberated from slave-like labor and other conditions.” Agub further called on the students and their families to collectively assert the Filipino people’s constitutional right to education, even more so midst the worsening crises in society today.
KPL-CV, along with other progressive organizations, will conduct a consultative meeting on June 8 with the students, parents, and CSU’s own student leaders to propel their concerns to the CSU administration and the Philippine government. # nordis.net