Friday, May 30, 2008

Tuition Blues

Like clockwork for young people, June comes with opening of classes. For migrant workers, it comes with opening of purses.

Many migrant workers are scholarship foundations. At the rate tuition and other school fee increases are going though, the foundations always find themselves cash-strapped.

When I was a student not so long ago, tuition didn’t bother me that much. I went to public schools for primary and secondary education.

College though was different. Despite it supposedly being a University of the People, P300 per unit was still a lot for a son of jobless parents and a brother of siblings who were part of the struggling rank-and-file workers.

I did get into that infamous socialized tuition crap but only managed to get into Bracket 5 that meant only free tuition. I tried to appeal but it looked like joblessness and renting a house with only one bedroom were not appealing enough. Maybe I should have tried to look more emaciated like the Rwandan refugees for the hardened hearts of the committee.

I looked for scholarship funds but it seemed that a degree in Philosophy was not scholarly enough to grant a slice of the scholarship pizza.

Anyway, through the graciousness of relatives, scrimping on a P100/week allowance while living in “Farview” (“North Farview” to be exact), eventually staying in that rat-hole but beloved Narra dorm, and then working my ass off as a student assistant on a P12/hour salary, I did manage to graduate.

Of course not everyone has gracious relatives, has P100/week to spare for allowance, can live in a dorm with quota of residents, or can be a student assistant. Consequently, not everyone can graduate.

I heard from news and read the statements of student groups that warned of more fee increases in the coming school year. The government allegedly called for a moratorium on tuition fee hikes but, as in the past, it only takes a minuscule of creativity to invent new fees or dump everything in that vague miscellaneous category.

For many Filipino migrants who are breadwinners of their families, June is the time to break that piggy bank, re-adjust budget, and most often, look for money lenders.

Of course, June is just the start. It’ll be another 10 months of thinking about where to get the funds for the next school project, everyday schooling and other incidental expenses for that much-vaunted dream of a diploma.

Yeah, sadly, there are also cases wherein their scholars do not appreciate the hardships that their parents, brothers or sisters go through just to put them up through school.

After four or five years of getting indebted until the graduation march is heard, then it’s time to search for jobs.

However, it is the kind of opening everybody looks for but most graduates never find year-round.


(Photo from Arkibong Bayan)

16 comments:

KRIS JASPER VAN DYKE said...

ive just watched it in TVP... yung mga tuition fees, kaya pala ang taas kasi binabayaran ng mga styudante yung utang ng schools.. pinapatong sa tuition nila (like development fees, etc..)

wanderingcommuter said...

hehehe. from the rates sa post mo, medyo nahahalata ang student number natin. hehehe.

would you believe in baguio, may mga state universities na pinagbabayad ang mga estudyante nila ng construction fees, energy fees, cultural fees, at mandatory ang pagbili ng dial up internet cards...naisip ko tuloy para saan pala ang miscellaneous?

tsktsk...

gibo said...

the irony of it is that most ofws send money for their siblings' education hoping that one day, they themselves can work abroad. once they are abroad, they are expected to do the same for the remaining siblings back home. the cycle continues.

Mugen said...

Yeah, sadly, there are also cases wherein their scholars do not appreciate the hardships that their parents, brothers or sisters go through just to put them up through school.

- This is the most painful thing of all...

Jericho said...

@kris: pesteng fees .. hehe
@wanderer: 94-07983 ... o ayan, wala nang atrasan..;)
@gibo: tunay ka!
@mugen: sad yeah. especially when they start to ask when they can ever come back home.

mel beckham said...

masakit sa loob ko ang mga ganitong topic kasi i was academically-challenged when i was in college. the only scholarship that i could avail was work scholarship that allowed me free tuition. yung miscellaneous fees ko noon was one-third of my tuition kaya mahal pa rin. sana ma regulate nila ang tfi sa private schools.

Abou said...

ang mahal na talaga ngaung mag aral. dito pa naman sa atin, we value education, kahit sobrang mahal ng gastusin e kinakaya talaga ng mga pamilya. hay...

Gayzha said...

my sentiments are like Gibo's... sad plight of the OFW's and the future ones!

Our educational system should start incororating OFW subjects and cut off number of years. Para ano pa all the other subjects? We are all going overseas in the end anyway.

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Diablo said...

i empathize with my fellow students parekoy. hirap na ng buhay.

the donG said...

tuition fee increase might be the next pain next to food prices. because there's a big percentage of the population studying. i was blessed enough because we had enough money when i was in college. one way to pass on this blessing would probably scholar one student in the future.

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pat said...

in short, bwiset talaga ang tuition. it's a vicious, vicious cycle.

Jericho said...

@mel: sana nga. wish upon a mega toh!
@abou: oo nga eh. extra challenge pa pagkatapos.
@gayzha: hahaha. kaya siguro pumapatok na talaga caregiving courses.
@petite: thanks
@diablo: estudyante ka pa pala? gudlak! hehe
@dong: gusto mo ihanap kita? haha
@empress: thanks!
@pat: yes. mas vicious pa sa posts mo. hehe

Diablo said...

yup, grad school. hirap ba sa u.p.?

Princhecha Fiona said...

Kung yung dating 300 eh medyo malaki na, kamusta naman yung ngayon na 1000 na ata?! tsk.. tsk..