Students say K to 12 promotes labor export, privatization

Text and photos by Bryan Ezra Gonzales


Around 50 students from the University of the Philippines held a program and noise barrage Tuesday (June 30) near Philcoa in Quezon City to condemn the Aquino government’s K to 12 program, the implementation of tuition deregulation and imposition of other school fees.

Students blasted the K to 12 program for promoting the government’s long-standing labor export policy, as well as the privatization of public education.

The K to 12 program introduces two years of senior high school in addition to four years of juniors high school. It also requires students to undergo Kindergarten before enrolling for elementary education.

The students also decried the approval of tuition hikes in around 400 universities and colleges and over 1,200 elementary and high schools nationwide.

The imposition of other school fees increases was also criticized as a “new form of tuition fee increase,” according to Anakbayan’s official publication.

Youth groups such as Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, Alay Sining, Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP) and Rise for Education Alliance led the hour-long program.

“This [K to 12 program] turns our schools into factories that sustain our government’s labor export policy, where students become laborers to be sold in foreign markets,” said League of Filipino Student UP Diliman Vice Chairperson Kara Lenina Taggaoa.
The students also pushed for the adoption of a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented education as the only solution to the prevailing crisis in the country’s education sector.
The students protested against Aquino’s neoliberal policies on education such as the K to 12 program, tuition deregulation and the implementation of other school fees in hundreds of schools all over the country.
Newly-selected UP Student Regent Mico Pangalangan delivering his solidarity message during the program.
“Education has become more and more inaccessible – it is a right that has now become a privilege,” said Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP Chairperson Menchani Tilendo.


“Ultimately, these will only serve business owners and greedy capitalist who are collaborators of the Aquino government, who promote their own interests and not the interest of the Filipino people,” said National Union of Students of the Philippines National Secretary General Lovely Carbon.




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