The youth group held an open dialogue with University of the Philippines President Alfredo Pascual, to discuss local campus issues especially those policies regarding education.
“Education is a right, it shouldn’t be commercialized but shouldrather be accessible to all,” Anakbayan Chair Vencer Crisostomo said.
“What happens is that even state universities and colleges are being privatized. The budget allocation for education is insufficient, and is barely even half of the 6% of the GDP prescribed by the UN,” he added.
At the University of the Philippines Manila, students wore black shirts at a forum on Martial Law which was declared 40 years ago.
Forums on the K to 12 program were also initiated at Cubao, Quirino and Commonwealth High Schools, where members signed a petition on the said program.
“K to 12 turns schools into mere factories which should produce cheap labor for export, to serve foreign capitalist interests and not our national interests. It makes tertiary education a privilege instead of a means to improve the person,” Crisostomo explained.
Youth members at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines meanwhile executed a ‘flash mob’. They also conducted teach-ins on current issues, which Anakbayan said are reminiscent of and are echoes of Martial Law days.
“The youth continue to fight for their rights and demand what is due them, one of the most important lessons we could draw from the dictatorial rule,” Crisostomo said.
The activities are part of a weeklong strike culminatingon September 21, the day the country commemorates Martial Law which plunged the nation into a dark period marked by human rights violations, among other abuses.