National Day of Protest against Tuition Increases and Repression
SIKAT (Carolinian Coalition Against Tuition and Other Fees Increase) held a candle lighting at the Portal, USC Talamban Campus in unity with the call of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) for the National Day of Protest Against Tuition Increases and Repression, February 28.
The activity was lead by its convener Maria Gigante, incumbent USC SSC councilor. It was attended by around 70 Carolinians. Along with its member STAND, the event was participated by Tingog, Student Power Party and other members of the Carolinian community. The program started with the opening of Earl Vincent Endab, Kabataan Partylist USC Chapter Spokesperson.
He pointed out that prices of basic commodities and services continue to rise while wages of parents are nailed down and now, Carolinians are facing a proposed tuition increase. “It only proves that even education has been commodified. The situation in the University of San Carlos was not isolated but one of the many effects of a commercialized educational system. It is only just that we say no to Tuition increase and fight for our right to education”, he added. Also, representative of each party gave their solidarity message against the proposed tuition fee increase in the University of San Carlos.
During the whole month of February, SIKAT were able to launch activities such as info dissemination about the tuition increase through Room-to-Room discussions and distribution of its MANIFESTO OF UNITY, WHITE SHIRT DAY EVERY WEDNESDAY, SIKAT General Assembly, ONE BILLION RISING for EDUCATION! CAROLIAN DANCE AGAINST TUITION & OTHER FEES INCREASE on February 14, NOISE BARRAGE during SSC-Admin consultation on February 20, and SIGNATURE CAMPAIGN that will be submitted to Commission on Higher Education (CHEd). Up until now, the alliance is still gathering signatures and recruiting member organizations.
While the SSC-Admin consultation ended up in a compromise 7.39% tuition increase, SIKAT is said to still be firm in its stand against any amount of Tuition Fee increase. In exploring different forms of protest, the alliance was able to show the side of the students with their call – NO TO TUITION FEE INCREASE.