Students up in arms over tuition increase plan amid pandemic

By Sanafe Marcelo

Students of a Central Luzon university are protesting plans to increase their tuition and other fees amid the coronavirus pandemic as well as the holding of online classes for the coming semester.

Students of the Holy Angel University (HAU) in Angeles City, Pampanga province launched a Twitter protest which became a trending topic nationwide “hashtag” #HAUyokoNa.

Their campaign reached more 12.3 thousand tweets from 6:00 PM of April 24 12 noon of April 25.

According to sources, the HAU management proposed last January an average of 6% increase on tuition and 22% on miscellaneous fees.

This led the University Student Council (USC) to launch a petition last February 26 against the fee increases.

Aside from the free increases, the students also protested the university’s decision to begin enrollment for the second semester of the current academic year on May 18 and start the academic year on July 15.

The students are also against the proposal by the university management to conduct online classes while the pandemic rages.

According to Anakbayan-HAU, the university’s decision ‘considering the situation we are all in at this moment, the said schedule ignores underprivileged students who may not be able to attend online classes which the school proposes.  

“This will also leave the students with insufficient time to recover from their financial burdens caused by the pandemic,” the group said in a statement.

The students pointed out that many families are hard up during the government-imposed lockdown with the “No Work, No Pay” situation.

“This fee increase is another hindrance towards the goal of making education an accessible right for the youth,” Anakbayan said. #