While almost everyone is glued on their seats to watch impeachments proceedings in the Senate, youth groups in the Davao are busy with their protest against the planned Davao Regional State University System (DRSUS) . The system is aimed at rationalizing higher education and reduce by at least 10 percent the number of state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the country.
Region 11 has the second lowest budget allocation for education but despite of this dilemma, a state university named University of Southeastern Philippines has made to the top 5 performing universities in the country and one of the universities in the Philippines recognized as one of the top performing school in Asia.
The students of this university have opposed the move saying that it would compromise the quality of education and limit the number of poor but deserving students from studying in the state university.
Why integrate a university that has already made name not just in the country but also internationally? Ironic it seems but what they have achieved will eventually vanish if the DRSUS will be implemented.
What’s worst about this bill is that it is not consulted to the major stockholders which are the students. Faculty, staffs, alumni and parents have no idea of this threat to their future. It was made in public just last December.
The right to information and the essence of democracy are slowly diminishing in a ground where it should exist. The right to quality education is not about merging SUCs and LUCs but by giving proper attention to the need of the students.
The issue of budget allocation for education has been an issue for several years. Government administration has caused major problems in the educational system not the universities and colleges itself.
Another worst thing about this house bill is that it will result to gradual face out of courses. Only Engineering and Education will be offered to this incoming university and if one wishes to take business or computer related courses one needs to go to Mati just to be able to avail of it or just go to private school with astonishing tuition fee. It would be unfair that the batch of future IT specialist, future economist and computer technician will be the last if the HB 5311 will be promulgated. Soon this university will only produce quality engineers of different fields and quality teachers of different levels.
Back to zero. Back to nothing. Established identity will vanish. All recognitions will be part of the past if HB 5311 will be passed.
Last January 25, students of Usep Obrero campus held a symposium as to their stand toward DRSUS. It is not only the issue of the students.
Academians, deans of different colleges expressed their refusal to the said house bill. It is a fight not just for today’s generation but also for the future students who want to enjoy cheaper but quality education within the city. The same event also encouraged students to be more aware and to take part in the decision-making for they will be the most affected by DRSUS if it will be implemented.
DRSUS is not the last resort to solve the problems in elevating education. Not in Region 11. Not in a university that had made its name on the ground of quality education. Students and incoming professionals of the country have the right to education. An education that is promised by the constitution.
Being human means acknowledging the fact that there is only one option in life that option is the moral option . This moral option tells us that we should value life. The question is, how? Aristotle teaches that all human acts have a purpose. What then is the between the good and this purpose? It comes from the basic understanding of making life worth living. Life is worth living when we shall have discovered our very purpose. The very value of life comes from the purpose. To realize this value means to realize our happiness. Happiness is something that is desirable in itself. All other things are merely requirements for happiness. They are mere instruments. They are our means for attainment of happiness. To live a dignified life means to live well, to be happy.
But we must clearly understand what is that ultimately makes the person happy. This is because there is a kind of happiness that only answers the call and whims of a person’s ego. It is individualistic. It responds only to an inner call. The moral dimension, however, responds to a broader reality. The human person belongs to a world. He belongs to others. This world is unexplored because he confines his moral puzzles to the very question of the self when in fact, he has a family to treasure, some friends to cherish, or a work that renders his waking hours meaningful. In this sense, a life is worth living is one that is open to the moral possibilities of the human person.
Thus, human happiness is not one’s ego. It is in being with others. It is by being in the world. It is fundamentally the essence of human freedom. Our freedom tells us that we have claim to truth. The truth is a life well lived. It is well lived because we have a reason to be. Our freedom opens our path towards a life lived fully because we have realized that our very value comes from the exercise of making the lives of others worth living because we recognized there freedom. Achievement is never personal. The true measure of human happiness is the happiness that others achieved through us . In helping others realize themselves, we also realize more fully.
Thus, our real task as persons is to say that our final goal, which is happiness, should include the happiness of the least of our fellow human beings. To respect others is to respect their dignity as persons. This is something that we can achieve by making sure that our social institutions achieve their moral ends. This is something that we can do by treating others as persons with dignity who also desire their freedom, and as such, the only moral option is to help them realize who they are. Only then can society be just and oriented towards its authentic moral end.