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Give P10,000 cash aid to students, youth network urges gov’t

Jun 6, 2021, Rappler.com

MANILA, Philippines

The Student Aid Network says the subsidy, if granted, could be used for gadgets, tuition, and other fees and needs of students

More than a year since schools shifted to distance learning, a network led by students and youth groups across the country called for the distribution of at least P10,000 in cash aid for all “students who have been victims of the [distance learning] crisis during the pandemic.”

The Student Aid Network, launched on Saturday, June 5, aims to unite students, parents, teachers, school officials, other members of the education sector, and the public in demanding for the cash aid given mounting education-related expenses.

Among those in the network are student councils from the University of Caloocan City and Iloilo State College of Fisheries-Main Tiwi Campus; campus publications Philippine Collegian, TomasinoWeb, and Ang Pahayagang Plaridel; as well as youth groups Kabataang Lingkod Bayan and Kalipunan ng Kristiyanong Kabataan sa Pilipinas.

The Student Aid Network created a petition where people can add their name among the signatories.

“In more than a year of lockdown, students have suffered severely under the government’s blended learning program. The problem remains with the high price of education, which is further compounded by the costs for the internet, gadgets, modules, and other necessities to adapt with the blended learning. As a result, the youth have been forced to drop out this year,” the network said in their petition.

At least 2.3 million children did not enroll for school year 2020-2021 as the education system shifted to distance learning.

The Student Aid Network is lobbying for a one-time cash subsidy of P10,000 for each student and those who dropped out during the pandemic. In its petition, it said the amount could be given in tranches, at P2,000 per month for five months, as “additional support and funding for all students to continue their education amid the pandemic.”

The Student Aid Network said the subsidy could be used for gadgets, tuition, and other fees and needs of students.

“The current setup of education has had a significant impact on the overall condition of the youth. The government should provide all forms of support that it should provide for the education of the youth, especially in preparing the gradual and safe reopening of classes. We carry the call for immediate relief in the form of P10,000 aid, along with the call for scientific and comprehensive medical solutions against COVID-19,” the Student Aid Network added in its petition.

As of Sunday, June 6, the petition has so far gained at least 1,480 signatories.

Kabataan Partylist had filed House Bill No. 9494 or the proposed Emergency Student Aid and Relief Act on May 28. The Student Aid Network urged the government to approve the bill and “allocate sufficient budget for cash subsidies to Filipino students.” – Rappler.com

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