UPV Cebu Faculty, Students & Parents Against UP Cebu High Closure

Posted on February 17, 2010



FACULTY MEMBERS, PARENTS AND students protested against University of the Philippines Visayas-Cebu College (UPVCC) Dean Enrique Avila’s Memorandum No. EMA-2010-013, which aims to phase out UP Cebu High School (UPCHS).

In the memo dated January 18, Avila stated that UP Cebu College “[is] no longer in the position to sustain ably the implementation of the high school” due to the alleged lack of faculty resources, profile of the current faculty complement servicing UPCHS, “refocusing” of the College’s academic programs and plans, and priorities set by the UP system and the UP Charter of 2008.

“It will be an injustice to continue operating it [UPCHS] if we cannot even adequately supply the faculty,” Avila continued.

Professor Rosario Y. Montaño, chair of Professional Education Division of UPCHS was the addressee of the said memorandum.

‘Worthier goals’
Meanwhile, prior to the memorandum, Avila sent a letter to UP President Emerlinda Roman regarding his plans for UP Cebu College.

In his letter dated January 8, Avila asked for permission if he may “continue concentrating on the drafting of proposals” which include the College’s “bid” to become a constituent university and to phase out the high school after having clarified important points raised by a certain Professor Baltazar.

He also mentioned in his letter that these bids are “important matters” and are “worthier goals.”

‘Unilateral decision’
Teresita Rodriguez, UP Cebu College secretary, informed UPV student publication, The Freeman, that the proposal to close UP High and downsize its students will require a rigorous review from the UP Chancellor, officials, advisers, University Council and the Board of Regents, therefore, may likewise consume a long period of time before its approval.

Cebu third district Representative Pablo Garcia told The Freeman that Avila’s memorandum was “another unilateral decision motivated by his well-known, well-documented, and long-standing bias against the continued operation of UP High.”

In response to Avila’s memorandum, around 100 students and faculty members staged a protest rally on January 20 in UPVCC.

UPVCC Student Council Vice Chairperson Ella Sarmago told The Freeman that there was “no proper consultation regarding the closure of the high school department.”

Manny Saler, president of the Parent-Teacher Association, told The Freeman that “Avila should be the one attending the protest to explain to UP community his campaign against UP High.”

UPLB BS Biology student and alumna of UPCHS Karla Bertulfo said that the role of UPCHS is to provide a democratized access to high school education for the economically disadvantaged but deserving students.

“Hindi interes at welfare ng [UPCHS] students at faculty ang itinataguyod ng memorandum ni Avila,” she added.

According to a primer on UP’s current situation released by the Student Alliance for the Advancement of our Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP), the government’s meager budget for the education sector is the root of the planned closure.

“Sa halip na humiling ng mas malaking pondo, napagpasyahang ipasara ang Cebu High,” STAND UP furthered.

The issue reached the House of Representatives as Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino wrote a House Resolution which urges UP administration “to continue the operation of UP Cebu College in recognition of its outstanding service to poor but deserving students and to the Cebu community as a whole.”

For the poor but deserving students
UPCHS was initially planned to be closed during the late 1980s. The closure, however, was prevented after the school adopted a policy in which “every high school in UP is a program for helping economically disadvantaged but deserving students gain access to tertiary level education in UP.”

This policy was fully implemented during the school year 1990-1991 and from then on, in accordance to the policy, UPCHS admits first year students from low-income families with annual income of Php 150,000 or less.by Jonelle Marin. [P] [UPLB PERSPECTIVE]

Origiginally posted here: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=323834567304