Not all beginnings start with the right footing.
For the past months, we have seen our school drastically change. The hours and days of our classes were reduced; the infamously longed-for air conditioning units were installed; and a new learning system is in the works. But with these developments came new points for improvement specifically the confusion over the adaptation to the new learning system. As much as we see the school’s administration as the key people behind these changes, we, as students have our own responsibilities too.
It’s not enough to just watch our school undergo these changes. No matter how optimistic or polished a plan is, it still does not guarantee exemption from flaws. During these times, we must exercise our rights to be vocal about our opinions. As much as it sounds like questioning the plans of the higher offices, as students of this institution, we are embodied with the right to free expression of opinion and suggestion.
Dating back to this school year’s enrolment, the significant increase in tuition and fees was met with heavy reactions and questions. This concern was even raised during the Student Government’s (SG) college orientation, Kabanata ng Kasalukuyang Kabataan (KKK), as one student asked about the allocation of funds that were spent for the digital campus initiatives. However, the representative from the Financial Resource Department (FRD) was unable to attend the event, leaving any inquiry on the matter unanswered.
But the question still hangs, and we should still press for an answer.
Despite the FRD’s reason for missing the orientation, the students still have the right to know where every peso from their total tuition fee was allotted for. Considering the fact that these were implemented during the time when there are less students to share the burden of expenses (since there are college freshmen and sophomores), their absence in the event should not have been a hindrance to students’ right to inquire especially when it is stated in the constitution of the Student Government that we are entitled to the “right to participate to the formulation of policies” and “access to information” which encompass student development.
After all, it’s not the brother president nor the school administration who will take turns in charging their laptops – and even bring extensions cords (because classrooms do not have enough electrical sockets to support the BYOD). It is still the students who will have to settle for multiple deadlines for the WiFi that they paid for the entire semester (even though Integrated School students have access to it already). We should always be reminded that we belong to the greater part of the receiving end of these changes. If any case goes wrong, it’s not only a matter of making full use of what we paid for, but the impact this will have in our learning system.
The effects of being vocal about the current issues in the school does not only extend itself to Lasallians.
Much of the school’s current promotions are built between the pillars of the digital campus, wherein it would be very unlikely for the school to expose its initiative’s flaws. If done in a civil manner, exposing these “birth pains,” as the admin would call it, can set a guide which other institutions can learn from.
At the end of the day, it’s not a matter of questioning who’s wrong or who’s right. Even though we may have conflicting views with the school’s administration, we both share the direction to aim for what will make the school better. One does not have to be necessarily an SG officer, a Lavoxan, or an org member in order to have their voices heard. We should not belittle our position as students and in this regard, it’s only fitting that we should work hand in hand in order to successfully drive what is next.