Kabataang Makabayan – Negros (KM-Negros) is one with the Filipino youth and students in commemorating International Students’ Day (ISD). The ISD was first declared in 1941 as a commemoration of the Nazi storming of the University of Prague after a series of demonstrations against Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. We dedicate this day in recognizing the youth and students’ historical role in fighting for freedom and democracy and resisting authoritarian regimes.
The Filipino youth have had enough of the continuing criminal negligence and glaring state abandonment of the inutile, corrupt and tyrannical US-Duterte regime. Troubled with the worsening economic and political crisis, the Filipino youth and students have been relentlessly facing systematic attacks on our democratic rights and the appalling state of Philippine education.
As neoliberal policies continue to plague the Philippine education system, the Filipino youth will remain deprived of our fundamental right to quality and accessible education. The Filipino students’ clamor for safe resumption of classes were unheard as the Duterte regime pushed through with the elitist mode of blended learning. The pandemic highlighted the inaccessible and commercialized character of Philippine education as more youth are left behind due to lack of proper infrastructure and resources. In Negros, public school enrollment recorded 303,218 compared to 322,346 last year while in private school enrollment only recorded 12,034 students compared to 28,800 last year.
The implementation of blended learning have proven to be a burden, not only to students but also to parents and teachers alike and caused financial, physical and mental distress. The Duterte regime is indifferent with the students’ plea for academic freeze and remains insensitive to the crisis brought by the Covid19 pandemic and the onslaught of calamities. The blended learning approach to education further deteriorated the already dismal, flawed and profit-oriented education in the country.
As long as the Philippine education system is colonial, commercialized and fascist, the youth and students’ future remain bleak. It is only imperative that we unite to collectively fight for a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented education through waging national democratic revolution.
The Filipino youth will not just sit idly amidst the outright tyrannical rule of the fascist Duterte. History has proven how the Filipino youth was in the forefront of the First Quarter Storm of 1970 and played a significant role in bringing about the downfall of the Marcos fascist dictatorship. The Filipino youth will once again create history and will launch massive student strikes to make the negligent Duterte accountable to his numerous crimes against the people. The Filipino youth will link arms with the broad masses in order to overthrow the Duterte regime from power.
Only through the victory of the national democratic revolution can the youth attain our right to education. As a true hope of the nation, we must collectively advance the people’s war to attain justice and democracy. ###