Weighing tuition against education

When you enroll this June, expect at least a 5% increase in your tuition fee.

The administration has just approved the proposed increase in our tuition fees, citing that the increase is largely supplemental to the salary increase for faculty and staff. The tuition fee has been increasing for several years.

This yearly increase would be justifiable if the quality of the very thing we’re paying for would go up just as much. A large part of the tuition fee increase, says the University Treasurer, goes to the salary of teachers, yet not one student in this university wouldn’t be able to give an anecdote of his own unfruitful experiences with a teacher or two in every semester he undergoes.

It is undeniable that XU has many great teachers, but the fact that there are many who should not even be qualified to teach are waltzing into the classroom, chatting the class period away and getting paid for it is being so blindly accepted that it has almost become a norm.

Who hasn’t had the teacher who always gives report assignments (or lectures as if he is giving one), the teacher who kills most of the class time letting you do things wholly unrelated to your subject, the teacher who lets you pay for one too many things, or the teacher that only attends class sporadically, only to waste a good portion of it talking about his life when he actually does come to class?

These common scenarios are not unknown to any student, yet none of them ever seem to get resolved. Whatever happened to the student evaluations, then?

Every semester, we are asked to evaluate our teachers— to rate their punctuality, skill, ways and competence. Every semester, we rate those whom we like and dislike. But how come the teachers we’d hoped to have been vanquished through our supposed ‘power’ to make a stand against them are still prowling the grounds and doing the very same things we gave them negative feedback for?

As paying students, we have the right to demand for what we deserve – a quality education. We have to learn how to express our discontent, rather than just sit and pretend to be content with what we have to put up with every session.

To demand for better education is not bigotry, nor is it a show of false pride in the part of the students. It is an awareness that the students are not getting what they are paying for. Our demand for a better education should not be taken lightly, because ultimately, our future depends on it.

We urge the administrators to reassess the overall competence of all the members of the faculty, and to ensure that they are delivering the quality education that Xavier University has promised. Fr. Roberto Yap himself is bent on better faculty formation, as he had expressed during his investiture, yet it is something many of us are left wanting. As long as incompetent and mediocre teachers continue to thrive, XU’s claim of delivering excellent education would hold no water. C

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