September 13, 2021 (6:34 PM)

3 min read


FOR THE STUDENTS. Progressive groups gathered at the Freedom park to call for “ligtas na balik eskwela”, “10K student aid now”, and uphold UP-DND Accord earlier this morning. Photo by Sofia Roena Guan

Urging the government to provide 10,000-peso cash aid for students, a safe resumption to face-to-face classes, and uphold UP-DND Accord, progressive groups gathered at the Freedom Park in front of Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) earlier this morning.

The Kabataan Partylist Southern Mindanao, Student Aid Network Mindanao, Alliance of Concerned Teachers Partylist Region XI, and Anakbayan Southern Mindanao led the picket as an education protest in time for the first day of classes for SY 2021-2022.

Kabataan Partylist Vice President for Mindanao Jayvie Cabajes shared that the protest aimed to actualize the “no student left behind” advocacy.

“Karong adlawa man gud, September 13, marks the first day of classes sa mga estudyante ug ikaduhang tuig na karon sa distance learning na gipatuman sa atong nasod… Ginaduso nato ang panawagan sa ‘ligtas na balik eskwela’, ‘10K student aid now’, ug uban pang mga panawagan para sa mga estudyante, para [maabot] nato ang ‘no student left behind’ nga panawagan,” Cabajes told Atenews.

Cabajes mentioned that the call for ‘ligtas na balik eskwela’ stemmed from the problems encountered by students in distance learning.

“Ginaduso jud nato ang atong mga panawagan para sa gradual resumption sa mga classes, given that four out of ten sa mga estudyante based on a study ay hindi maka-afford sa distance learning,” he said.

Describing that the online setup was “not productive,” he stressed how the mode of learning was “very taxing” to students’ mental health. 

“Aabot na malaking gastos talaga ‘yung distance learning ngayon, and hindi talaga productive ang online setup ng education, given that under the current mode of system under the pandemic, ay very taxing sa mental health ng mga kabataan.”

“Tapos marami ding nakalap na mga student rights violations, sa mga di pag-follow sa protocols sa education, sa guidelines sa education,” Cabajes added.

Following the Covid-19 protocols in protesting, the youth party-list officer stressed that the pandemic’s restrictions were not the main hindrance in mobilizing, but on how the regime “instills fear” on dissenters.

Ang challenges man gyud kay, for us, ‘di siya sa pandemic per se, but the… pag-instill ng fear ng regime sa youth, especially na given that Davao is a Duterte country and they know how brutal, how treacherous, and… kung unsa si Duterte as a mayor diri… Kabalo sila unsaon paggamit ni Duterte sa iyang kusog para [maghilom] ang dissent sa katawhan,” Cabajes said.

He further mentioned how the police used the Covid-19 protocols to “silence” them, but remained firm in urging the youth to exercise their right of expression and assembly.

“But then again, gitindugan nato na atong kahadlok, ato jud siyang gi-igpawan, para… mapakita sa mga kabatan-unan na dili dapat ‘ta mahadlok, na ‘tay katungod, naa ‘tay guaranteed rights,” he said.

Lead Convenor for Student Aid Network Mindanao Rose Quimod shared her organization’s purpose in helping students.

“Ginapush pud namo ang passage sa House Bill 9494, sulod didtoa na ang student aid… nga 10K. Naa pud didto ang kanang mga review sa mga TOFI, for the student jud ang House Bill 9494 authored by Sarah Elago, Kabataan Partylist,” Quimod told Atenews.

Quimod described the measures that their initiative had taken in pushing for the proposal’s passage.

“Naga-collect mi’g mga signature, petition…nakapasa na pud mi sa Malacañang, ug sakto gyud nga 10K na nag-sign sa petition… organizations, student councils, na nag-alliance pud sa amoa kay nagsupport sila. And naga-dialogue pud mi sa CHED… with Atty. Cinderella, kay para ma-open pud sa iyaha unsa about ang network,” she said.

End the silence of the gagged!

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