To Be An Iskolar ng Bayan
By Meg Sales
“Iskolar ng bayan” are words which will forever be linked to each one of us studying here in this university. They are usually just accepted by students absent-mindedly, without truly understanding the weight of being an “iskolar ng bayan”. Usually, for most people, what it means to be an “iskolar ng bayan” is simply to be a student in the state university, the premier university in the country. However, that meaning is not all there is to it; it’s the tip of the iceberg to what an “isko/iska” stands for. What most people forget is that the term “iskolar ng bayan” is actually a literal description of what UP students are; we are scholars of the country. Here in UP, we often see students fight and protest for a higher budget for education from the government because this would directly affect every single one of us iskos and iskas. A part of the annual education budget of the country is meant to subsidize our UP tuition. The relatively low tuition fee here in UP is due to the fact that our government pays for some chunk of our supposed tuition; therefore what we have to pay for ourselves is a lower fee. However, looking at things in perspective, it is not really the government that subsidizes us. The money of the government comes from the Filipino people, our countrymen, so we owe our education to them. Their money is used to allow us to study here, therefore we are their scholars; we are scholars of our countrymen and of our country, hence the term “iskolars ng bayan”. With that in mind, we have to remember that it is not only our parents’ money that is wasted every time we skip our classes, every time we fail our exams, or every time we have to retake our subjects. We may not feel guilty for wasting our parents’ money, but we should keep in mind that we are also wasting our fellow Filipino’s money. For example, our tuition may have been partly paid by a hardworking father, who does his job faithfully and honestly every...
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