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” (“
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)