Saturday, March 16, 2013
MANILA, March 16, 2013-Senator Loren Legarda deplored reports that a college student from the University of the Philippines-Manila committed suicide after she was forced to take a leave of absence for failing to pay her tuition fee.
“It is deplorable that this student had to take her own life, but it is even more regrettable if she indeed did it as she was unable to pay for her tuition fee,” said Legarda.
According to news reports, Kristel Tejada, freshman student at the UP Manila, committed suicide on Friday allegedly because she was not able to pay for her tuition fee, and was forced to take a leave of absence.
“Education is supposed to give hope to our youth as it will provide them wide opportunities in life, which is why our government is mandated to offer quality and accessible education to poor Filipinos through public schools and state universities and colleges (SUCs). But when education becomes inaccessible, especially to those who need it the most, then it defeats its purpose,” Legarda explained.
“We need to review the policies of our educational institutions especially our SUCs, which are supposed to prioritize students who are most unable to pay for tuition fees. This is the reason why I would want to take a deeper study on how we can expand our scholarship programs for college students,” she added.
The Senator said it would not be a big dent on the government’s education budget if college scholarships are given to the poorest of the poor since SUCs are already in place and have their regular annual appropriations from the national government.
Among Legarda’s priorities in her next term in the Senate is the expansion of the government’s scholarship program, ensuring one college graduate for every poor family, particularly by granting college scholarships to at least one member of each of the 3.8 million households that are beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.
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