Home > personal > P1,500 per unit na sa UP!

P1,500 per unit na sa UP!

Pursuing my master’s degree made me go back to my roots–UP Diliman. I love UP. I love the campus and the experience of just being there among a wide variety of people. I’ve been “Catholic-schooled” all my life so you could say that my freshman year was filled with surprises and not all of them were pleasant. 🙂

But I was never an activist. I never joined rallies (except for EDSA2 but I went there for my thesis. Sorry… did not really believe in EDSA2 although I didn’t like ERAP but that’s another topic), never joined or supported student demonstrations and was even annoyed when my classes used to get suspended because my teachers and my classmates were elsewhere with pickets. I also used to get annoyed whenever my mom would introduce me to her friends and say, “Sa UP yan nag-aaral,” (she was tickled pink when I got in) and her friends would say, “So, aktibista ka?” as if being a UP student automatically makes me one.

Does this make me less of an “Iska?” I don’t believe so… When I was still an undergrad, I don’t think there was ever an issue that I really felt strong about–not enough reason to go out and be an “activist”. As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t support EDSA2 and I wasn’t really informed about the VFA so how could I make an informed decision (although, I am ashamed to admit, that the latter is probably my fault. I could have gotten information somehow. The Subic Rape case “fiasco” as I call it made me realize what my fellow students back then were fighting against.)

My return to my alma matter couldn’t have come at a more “tense-filled” time. The Board of Regents finally approved the tuition fee increase (if I remember correctly, this has been under negotiations when I was still an undergrad) and starting AY 2007-2008, incoming freshmen in UP Diliman will be paying P1,500/unit — a BIG jump from what used to be only P300/unit. According to UP’s website, students will still be subsidized and only those that can afford the full tuition should pay it. Considering that the majority of the students in UP nowadays can afford it (you want proof? Count the number of cars parked all over the campus), I can’t really react violently to their decision. The university does need funds considering that the budget we get from the government is pathetic.

This is what irks me: the fact that the Arroyo administration obviously doesn’t have education as a priority. They spend millions on the military, the renovation of Malacañang when Bush visited, on a “civic center” in Cebu for the ASEAN summit, etcetera, etcetera, yet they can’t spare more money for education. In the last list of top schools in the country (which I think I saw in Inquirer a few months ago), the University of the Philippines is still considered as the best educational instition in the state followed by De La Salle and Ateneo despite the fact that even UP’s own administration admitted to the depreciation of the quality of education provided by the institution. Yet the administration doesn’t seem to care. They would rather spend money on a “special chair” for Gloria in the ASEAN summit (is it some sort of a throne or was it made because of her height?) rather than allot a bigger budget for the country’s state universities.

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Categories: personal
  1. Den Relojo
    September 4, 2008 at 12:52 am

    So do you deserve to be called “Iskolar ng Bayan”?

  2. September 4, 2008 at 8:19 am

    @Den: if you’re still going to use the tuition fee argument then yes, I deserve to be called an Iska. I paid P300 per unit when I was still an undergrad– very inexpensive considering that UP is at par with expensive universities such as Ateneo. Since my student number is 97, I pay P600 per unit for my masters degree which is also a relatively low price to pay compared to the other masteral programs in the country.

    I am taking my masters so I can teach at a university. By educating the youth, I hope to give back some kind of service to the country that helped finance my own education. In that way, I hope to deserve the monicker in the truest sense of the word.

    You were the one who made a mountain out a molehill and your argument has been drilled full of holes already. We tried to elevate your argument and yet you come here and challenge me with a post on an entry I made eons ago. The TFI was out of our hands and despite the increase UP is still subsidized by the government.

    I feel like an old record. I think I’ve said this over and over again. Your argument is false. If you really want to question if UP students really deserve to be called Iskolar ng Bayan then I suggest you read Jester’s post about it. You’ll find a rather emotional debate between the alumni and the students.

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