September 30, 2023

A group of students from a prestigious university in Quezon City is urging students from other colleges and universities to skip classes for four days as a form of protest against what they call the “ineptness of the administration in responding to the pandemic and the calamities that recently hit the country.”
In conjunction thereto, they have submitted a list of their demands. Among which is leniency in passing students because of the difficulty in the system of instruction being implemented. What a demand.
As can be seen from what these students want, there is no significant relationship between their course of action and their demands. What has the mode of instruction, which is being undertaken by means of distance learning, got to do with their goal in enticing students to walk out of their classes for a couple of days? Obviously, what they have in mind is an easy escape against the rigors of studying. They want to pass and complete their course without the consequent responsibility of working for it. Yet, they put the blame on Pres. Rodrigo Duterte by exploiting the recent events that devastated the country.
They should reconsider their action because they are only making the situation worse than it already is. If they believe that they are the only ones that have the ascendancy to fight for what is due to our people, they ought to rethink their options. There are enough sufferings wrought by recent events. There are enough problems on the agenda of the government. A group of students on strike, demanding for concessions that can easily be compromised is more than one thorn in an already bushy garden.
If there is one word that will characterize the mood of the students to go on strike, it is “ingenuity.” It is quite ingenious for them to find enough excuses not to hold classes. It is the classic mentality of students when they are tired of their professors and are hard up on the subjects they are taking. This has been the norm even before the pandemic and destructive typhoons struck. There is always a reason to blame the government about their plight. In this case, the Duterte administration is an easy and available scapegoat.
No wonder the President is exasperated. He has threatened to cut the budget appropriation of state universities. Can’t blame him. He has every reason to be dejected. State universities are supposed to be the bastion of academic excellence, the source of the brightest and the most resilient professionals who will serve our country. But there is the dark side. The most ardent student protestors and radicals come from among their ranks. Despite their exultant position and their privileged situation, they rally and protest against the most trivial policies implemented by the administration. They find every exception in the book to justify their grievance.
Maybe, it is about time students started acting like students. Their obligation is to study and finish a course. They are not supposed to be on the streets rambling and raving against things that are not in any way related to what they are. Leave politics to the politicians.