Strengthen the Revolutionary Youth and Student Movement!

March 21, 2013

The National Democratic Front – North Central Mindanao Region unites with the struggle of students in universities and colleges across the archipelago. The recent surge of fury of the youth and students, triggered by the suicide of a poor scholar who was unable to pay her tuition, exposes the seriously deteriorating Philippine education system today.

Widespread protests taking various forms condemned and criticized the US-Aquino regime for prioritizing debt servicing in the national budget over education, privatizing state universities and colleges, and promoting a commercialized, pro-imperialist and fascist education system in the Philippines.

In North Central Mindanao Region, the unbridled commercialization of education continues unabated. “Iskolar ng Bayan” (People’s Scholars) and their parents, or those who study in state schools such as Central Mindanao University, Bukidnon State University, Mindanao State University, Mindanao University of Science and Technology and Caraga State University, are burdened by the high cost of education. With the ever-decreasing allocation for education in the national budget, and the gradual ongoing privatization of these schools, nothing more is free. In fact, the fees these state universities and colleges exact from their students increase by the year. In CMU for instance, the per-unit tuition fee increased from P9 to P150 at present. In BSU, students pay P225 per unit while in MSU-IIT the rate is P150.

On the other hand, capitalist-educators in private schools such as Xavier University, Fr. Urios University, SJIT, Liceo, Lourdes, CU, COC, SAIT, St. Peter’s College and St. Michael’s, among others amass ever-rising profits for catering bourgeois education. Students and parents are bled dry, ruthlessly compelled to cough up hard-earned P300 to P700 per unit. This is aggravated with CHED’s blanket approval for 26 schools in the region to increase their tuition fee by 3-16% in the next school year, apart from increases in other fees required of the students. It is not at all suprising that a great number of our nation’s youth are deprived of their right to education, with college education increasingly becoming a privilege to those who can afford.

Aside from the pro-imperialist orientation of the courses offered in the country’s education system that provide skilled and servile labor force to imperialist firms, student governments, publications and organizations are also violently repressed in colleges and universities in the region. Students are forced to enlist in the ROTC. Schools are militarized, and in some instances, the military play direct role in attacking the legal struggle of students, faculty and non-teaching personnel.

The deteriorating education system is but a reflection of the moribund semi-feudal and semi-colonial system in our society. Being the nation’s hope, the youth shoulders the challenge in continuing the national democratic revolution to achieve genuine social change, a struggle that has been on course started by our heroes since the Spanish colonial period and which continues until today. Lessons from history should unceasingly remind the youth and students of the significance of further strengthening their democratic movement alongside the struggle of the common people within and outside their campuses, as the First Quarter Storm of the ‘70s experience taught us. Crucial to this is a strong and broad membership in Kabataang Makabayan and in Communist Party branches in schools.

Above everything else, the NDF earnestly calls upon youth and students in the urban areas to serve the oppressed and exploited people. In joining the NPA to directly take part in the armed struggle, in advancing the agrarian revolution in the countryside, we shall liberate the peasant masses which constitute the bulk of our population. We must always grasp firmly that the youth is the inexhaustible wellspring of revolutionary cadres who will incessantly advance the national democratic revolution in liberating the Filipino people until final victory.