Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition, a national coalition of school-based and community based youth organizations lauds the Duterte Administration for the passage of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
For too long, we have suffered under repeated budget cuts to public spending on education; resulting in the closure or corporatization of public schools and universities. This in turn resulted in soaring tuition fees making the dream of a earning a diploma out of reach for many people. We decry this trend of robber baron capitalism that has resulted in the permeation of commercialization and privatization in all facets of public life, including education.
Access to education is the first step towards genuine youth empowerment. Education equips young people with the right skills and knowledge to becoming productive and competitive citizens that could contribute to national development.
Since 2014, SKC together with other groups has been calling on the government to increase the education budget so state operated universities and colleges could serve more of our fellow countrymen.
Today, August 4, as Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra announced in a press conference in Malacañan Palace that President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law on the night of August 3. The members of the coalition from various parts of the country are pleased that the government has finally listened to the youth’s long standing demand for accessible education.
The youth’s struggle for free and emancipatory education is finally bearing fruit and the Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition is in solidarity with all movements and campaigns aimed at sustaining this positive development.