The Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police want to rescind the DILG memorandum of agreement with state universities and colleges that bars the police from entering them without the consent of their administrators. The purpose is to stop what they claim is the recruitment of students into “front organizations” and even the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army. They claim that students are being brainwashed or coerced by their professors and fellow students into joining these organizations.
Teaching is not about money but about public service, Education Secretary Leonor Briones told her constituents last week.
She was right — at least about the public service part.
The spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), in elaboration of the AFP chief-of-staff’s tale of a “Red October” leftist-rightist conspiracy to oust President Rodrigo Duterte from power, said last week that the country’s university and college students are being “brainwashed” into activism and radicalism.
Only a few individuals and groups, among the latter the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), took issue with a statement by Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chair Patricia Licuanan last August that not every student should go to college.
What she said should have occupied both the media and citizens more than such inanities as the “AlDub” television phenomenon or the latest developments in Manuel “Mar” Roxas II’s and Jejomar Binay’s trifling quest for a candidate for Vice President. In time these will pass as most things do. But the education of the younger generations will have an impact on the nation far beyond the imbecilities of daytime TV and the delusions of Philippine partisan politics.
The day after the opening of the country’s schools, it’s customary for the media to regale the country with human interest stories and photos on how, in those communities far from Manila or any other urban center, children of school age walk kilometers, brave rain and raging rivers, take leaky overloaded boats, etc. just to get to school.