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It’s the favored students carping

/ 01:26 AM October 11, 2011

The proposed budget cuts in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) have drawn a sort of “exaggerated” response from a favored sector of students. Right now, students in SUCs are enjoying benefits and perks that students in private HEIs (higher education institutions) don’t, such as allowances, nominal fees and books. Every year, SUCs are getting government allocations for equipment, for operations and for the salaries of teaching and non-teaching personnel in the billions of pesos.

Most, if not all, smaller private HEIs in far-flung areas are not as lucky. They do not get public funds and depend just on the tuition and other school fees. Yet, some HEIs (like Mt. Moriah College in Camotes Islands) can educate 100 students with an annual budget of only P1 million for salaries. Of course, the owners have to source funds from private entities for improvements, equipment, books and other needs to meet the Commission on Higher Education’s standards for quality education.

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How many college students can SUCs educate for every billion pesos they get from government? How much of this amount really goes into the actual cost of education? And if they need P1 billion more, how many students are going to suffer if they don’t get that amount?

I repeat, we at Mt. Moriah College can educate 100 college students with a salary budget of just P1 million. Give us P5 million and we will support the education of 500 poor students on these islands, even without profiting a single centavo.

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I believe the current protest in budget cuts should direct our lawmakers to give more attention to our marginalized sectors, especially those in our island communities, which have greater need of government funds to give their young easier access to affordable college

education.

—DR. AGUIDO A. MAGDADARO, president, CSHC-Mt. Moriah College, Poro, Camotes Islands, Cebu

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TAGS: budget cuts, education, SUCs
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