Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The answers are staring right at your face

I just got a text message that’s part of a text brigade as protest to the approval of the library fee to be included in our tuition. There is also a probability that our tuition could increase to as much as 1000php a unit. The info is not official but since the people who texted me are part of a political party in UP, I guess they got their facts straight.

The governmnet is also adding new fees such as library fees and internet fees. Now why would we pay for services that we do not enjoy? The libraries, at least in LB, suck big time. Students even go to as far as Ateneo to do well-needed research. The books smell musty and are so dilapidated. And internet? I do not recall having used internet connection at the expense of the school, except perhaps in IT class because it was required and the connection was so slow, I almost fell asleep trying to open a website.

We, ang mga iskolar ng bayan, are indignant. A thousand, a unit? We might as well be studying in a private university. Being accepted and studying in a government subsidized university is a privilege – the government invests in us, in our talents and intelligence. and we work hard to earn that privilege. The university also does its part by trying to imbibe in us the sense of duty to give back what we owe our country.

But what does the university give us? Dirty classrooms, damaged chairs, no proper ventilation, poor facilities, no proper compensation for instructors and professors, and no conducive environment for learning. Without the teachers' passion to share knowledge and the students' drive to learn, we wouldn’t be anywhere at all.

Let’s see, where does the taxpayers’ money go? To military equipment? Why, are we in a war? Does it go to the constitutional charter change that only aims to benefit the power hungry? To the pork barrel that vanishes into thin air?

And they ask why the quality of education in the Philippines is deteriorating. They wonder why UP is no longer among the top schools in Asia. They wonder why the teachers are leaving to teach in less prestigious but high-paying universities. They wonder why fresh grads are flocking abroad to study. They wonder why brain drain is prolific. I don’t know about them, but I know the answer.

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