The Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan – Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMATIK-KMU) expresses its strong condemnation on the recently approved academic calendar shift for the University of the Philippines, saying it is only for the benefit of capitalists and imperialists, and is senseless, untimely, and highly disadvantageous for the Filipino youth.
The said shift in the academic calendar will move the start of the first semester (AY 2014 onwards) to August. According to UP president Alfredo Pascual, “The decision to shift the academic calendar is part of the continuing efforts of UP to develop into a regional and global university, and to maximize the opportunities offered by ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration and global educational partnerships.” The workers’ group, however, criticized the decision, which was approved by the UP Board of Regents on Thursday last week.
“Global educational partnerships with ASEAN and other international institutions, for so very long, have not benefitted the Filipino youth and the broad masses. They have been, and are continuously implemented, in alignment with imperialist globalization that is only for the needs of monopoly capitalists.” Wenecito Urgel, PAMANTIK-KMU Secretary General, said.
At present, the University of the Philippines is the only Philippine university in the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), and the ASEAN-European University Network. It is also the founding member of the ASEAN University Network. In these international associations, the university claims to promote academic ‘collaboration’ through various forms.
“It is all part of the grand plan — to superficially align our educational system to international programs and force the youth to take up professions that the government calls ‘marketable’, those which address the needs of capitalists in designing, implementing, and operating their businesses and factories with one common goal: to take home more profit, while workers suffer from very low wages and the deprivation of their rights.”
National, scientific, mass-oriented instead of pro-capitalist, colonial, and commercialized education
“The Filipino youth need nationalist, mass-oriented, and scientific education that will help our nation realize the only solution to the worsening poverty in the country—national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform,” added Urgel.
“Other than the decision being anti-democratic, as it has not undergone proper consultation with students—the largest stakeholders of our country’s national university, the change in the academic year only opens our education system to more pro-capitalist reforms.
“In his three years as puppet president, Aquino has been deceiving us and our children through various educational reforms such as the K to 12 program and his exemplary promotion of vocational courses through the TESDA, which he claims to be the way towards global competitiveness. But in essence, Aquino has fully abandoned his obligations in providing affordable and quality tertiary education. His goal is to create more contractual, skilled workers who will receive very low wages, for the benefit of foreign capitalists here and abroad.” Urgel ended.
(Photo courtesy of Philippine Collegian)