Militant youth groups are obviously misguided in their recent criticisms of the chairperson of the Philippines' Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Patricia Licuanan. Higher education is evidently dissimilar from basic education. Basic education is compulsory while higher education is a choice. Every child therefore has the right to enter either a primary or secondary school. Colleges and universities are obviously different in this aspect as these institutions are selective. And the selection comes not so much because of what colleges do but because of what has happened in basic education. Patricia Licuanan is correct in stating, "The poorest of the poor are not yet in college. They have been knocked out long ago and enrollment of the poorest quintile in higher education is only 8 percent. So it’s not going to benefit the poor." Access to higher education is therefore not limited because of tuition, but mainly because of the failures of basic education.
Rosos, the leader of the League of Filipino Students, the group that criticizes CHED chairperson Licuanan, maintains however that higher education is a right: "Providing free public education must cover every Filipino youth regardless of their background. There should be no conditions in providing free public education." Rosos is sadly mistaken in equating higher education to basic education. Worse, Rosos fails to see the real reason why access to higher education is not available to all. Unfortunately, repeating what Licuanan said: "
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