On the week of the national youth walkout, student publications across the country will launch a series of activities condemning “campus press freedom violations emerging from the crisis in education.”
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), the broadest and oldest alliance of student publications in Southeast Asia, will open the “Campus Press Freedom Week” through a “Pubs Baha” in the National University (NU) on July 18. Members of student publications from different colleges and universities will gather at NU to call for the re-opening of “The National,” the NU student publication which was closed during Martial Law and a founding member of the Guild.
“Opening a critical, fearless publication would definitely empower the studentry. There is a need to re-open the National because students have to be armed with the knowledge to assert their rights amid policies that restrict access to quality education,” said Trina Federis, national president of CEGP.
On July 19, student publications will join other youth formations in the national walkout against “state neglect,” “unreasonable miscellaneous fees and tuition increases” and “violations of students’ democratic rights” such as campus press freedom.
“The Guild believes that writing for noble advocacies in itself would not be enough. It is necessary to directly engage in the struggle for accessible, quality education,” said Federis, adding that the 80 years of CEGP were characterized by active involvement in social issues.
The CEGP will also launch a “mobile exhibit” highlighting the milestones in the history of the Guild. CEGP will open the exhibit with a program on July 20 in University of the Philippines –Diliman College of Mass Communication.
The exhibit will then be mounted in Ateneo de Manila University and University of Sto. Tomas on July 21 and 22, respectively. On July 23, Kabataan Partylist, CEGP and other youth groups will hold a forum on the education situation and a private schools caucus in San Beda College-Manila at 1 P.M..
“The Campus Press Freedom Week should provide student journalists with the avenues to inform their fellow students of the worsening crisis in education. It will also be a venue in which student journalists can express their indignation over the Aquino administration’s incompetence in addressing people’s issues, especially as his second State of the Nation Address is approaching,” said Cristopher Pasion, CEGP national deputy secretary general.
JULY 9, 2011
Pauline Gidget Estella