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Anakbayan marches to Mendiola, urges Aquino Administration to address plight of working students

June 15, 2010

Youth group Anakbayan joined other youth and student groups today in a march to Mendiola Bridge, calling on the incoming administration of Noynoy Aquino to address the plight of ‘working students’.

In a statement last Sunday, the Commission on Higher Education claimed that around 216,000 students, or 8% of all college students nationwide, also have part-time jobs. In the same statement, the CHED said that 50% of all working students are unable to finish their college studies.

Anakbayan national vice-chairperson Anton Dulce said the CHED data only proved that his group’s calls for a tuition freeze and a legislated P125 minimum daily wage hike are ‘just’ and ‘urgent’.

“The combination of low wages and high costs of education push many students to attempt the virtually impossible act of juggling their studies and work. This is already shows that they are being deprived of their right to education.” he said.

Thee daily cost of living for an average family in the NCR, which stands at P917, while the daily minimum wage is pegged at P404. According to [name], the average family has to borrow money to send their children to school.

In response however, the gov’t agency only advised working students to ‘get jobs that are not that demanding’.

Dulce slammed the statement, saying the agency is “either stupid, or covering up the fact that they do not want to take action”.

“Aware naman pala ang CHED na nahihirapan ang marami na makapag-aral sa kolehiyo, o pag-aralin ang mga anak nila. But instead of pushing for a tuition freeze, which we have repeatedly advocated for, as well as additional measures such as rollbacks and refunds of tuition and other fee increases, the CHED is acting like the spokesperson of private school owners” said the youth leader.

Meanwhile, several weeks before the inauguration of President-elect Noynoy Aquino, Anakbayan challenged him to ‘walk the talk’ by addressing the plight of working students.

“Talk is cheap but education is not. If he is sincere in bringing about ‘change’, he will make our proposals on the tuition freeze and wage increase priorities in his Administration.” said Dulce. ###

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