UP shows the way
Good news has been in short supply in the sad aftermath of Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” but here’s a report that blazes a small trail for helping students in need. As a means of offering relief to its students from devastated Eastern Visayas, the University of the Philippines is waiving collection of tuition from at least 30 students who have cross-enrolled in UP Los Baños, in order to allow their families breathing room to take stock of their situation and begin the daunting process of rebuilding. Additionally, three students from UP Tacloban will be given free accommodation in UPLB dormitories. And UPLB Chancellor Rex Cruz has also called for pledges to cover the students’ meals for a semester.
The resumption of the disrupted education of young people in Leyte and Samar is imperative, and financial assistance is a concrete way to make this possible. The next in line to be assisted are the students of UP Visayas Tacloban College and UP Manila School of Health Sciences who have cross-enrolled in UP Diliman or UP Manila (faculty and other groups have reportedly initially arranged for their lodgings). This process should be replicated in other schools that are called upon to take in displaced students.
It is estimated that over 600,000 public school students were displaced by Yolanda. Each of them deserves the gift of education, for only with the continued emphasis on learning can this country recover and thrive.
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