The reason for the proposed tuition adjustment is inflation, so says UP President Erlinda Roman. The tuition, we are paying for today, according to the president, is worth only P98 and of we were to take the actual rate of increase of prices for educational services are, is worth P42.
What she failed to say is though is that inflation rates have also affected the incomes of our parents, drastically. And that some, may not be able to afford, should the increases will be implemented.
Parents and students chose to be in UP because of affordable and quality education and yet here comes the new tuition rates, whose prices are ceiling high, which most of the masses wont be able to afford.
Of course, Mrs. Roman, saw this argument coming, and the answer? The much-lauded scheme by the Admin—STFAP. STFAP, according to Roman, will subsidize the education of those who are not in Bracket A. but who is she kidding?
STFAP, today, with the way it is being implemented could hardly make us believe that it will be the savior of all those who could not afford. Yeah right. Primers have been going around, explaining how STFAP will subsidize the education of those who won’t be in the highest income bracket.
But what the heck, those primers forgot to say that according to the Atanacio report ( the committee Roman formed to study STFAP), only 20% of incoming students may fall in bracket E, 20% may be paying P300 per unit, 40% will be paying P600 per unit, 16% will be paying P1,000 per unit and 4 to 5% will be paying P1,500 per unit. Which makes 80% of the incoming students will be affected by the tuition increase.
Lately, the office of the Chancellor have asked some of the teachers to discuss the increase in tuition rates with their students, and some have been doing it up to the point of selling the idea to the students. Which I guess, is because they believe that if tuition and other fee increases will be implemented, their salaries would also increase. They forget that they are under the Salary Standardization Law. And come to think of it, every time an increase in tuition rates is implemented in other universities, hardly a centavo goes to the salary of the teachers. What makes them think that we will be different?
Why should we care? Only freshmen students and transferees will be affected. A tactic meant to divide the students. But hey, an increase is an increase. That doesn’t make things different. UP education will be more expensive and harder to reach. Think of those who could barely afford today’s tuition rates. What more if per unit is P600?
We should be more critical. And in the current scheme of commercialization and privatization of the premier state university, we must continually assert and defend our right to a quality and affordable education. An iskolar ng bayan doesn’t think only of him/herself, but also of the future iskolar ng bayan.