Legislate Magna Carta of Students

Karapatan para sa kapaligirang kayaaya para sa pag-aaral, pagpapayaman ng kaalaman at pagpapalaya ng kamalayan. Isabatas! Magna Carta of Students. – Akbayan Youth

pass magna carta of students!

pass magna carta of students!

The bill seeks to protect and promote the following rights and freedoms:

  • Right against discrimination on the basis of several grounds. – Discrimination takes place when there is denial of admission, expulsion from an educational institution, punishment with disciplinary action, including mandatory counseling, or denial of welfare services, scholarships and other privileges based on grounds protected by the UN (sex, gender, ethnicity, disability, etc.)
  • Right to competent instruction and relevant quality education. – Schools are compelled to allow students to evaluate the content of the curriculum and the performance of their teachers at the end of the semester.
  • Right to organize. – The right to organize of students shall be protected and promoted:
  1. the accreditation of orgs shall be administered by the school, but the guidelines shall be crafted by the students and students have representation in the accreditation committee;
  2. Accreditation shall be granted upon the submission of a letter requesting for accreditation, constitution, list of activities, and list of officers;
  3. Provision of physical space (a hall or building) for student organizations; and
  4. Explicit of prohibition of acts that impair the right to organize, such as the signing of waiver, imposition of excessive membership fees and requirements for accreditation other than the ones provided by the bill. Note that as an amendment to the Anti-Hazing Law, the imposition of hazing is taken as a violation of the right to organize and preventive penalties are introduced in the bill.
  • Right to establish a student council/government. –
    1. There shall be one student council/gov’t per school, campus, college, or university, with officers elected annually during popular elections;
    2. The charter or constitution of the student council/gov’t shall be crafted and ratified without the interference of the achool administration;
    3. an independent COMELEC to administer the student council/gov’t elections shall be created;
    4. the student council/gov’t shall be financially independent, provided that student council fees should be approved by the student body and a financial report is published at the end of the term, and;
    5. Student councils/gov’t shall not be barred from joining national student council alliances and similar inter-school organizations.
  • Right to publish a student newspaper. – This is an amendment to the Campus Journalism Act of 1991 (RA 7079). 1) Student publications shall be free from the influence of the administration and faculty, be it through interference in terms of content, financial restrictions, or determining the composition of the editorial board.
  • Right to adequate welfare services. – There shall be no denial of access to health services (physical exams), facilities (lab, library, etc.), counseling, and legal assistance in cases involving the exercise of the rights stipulated in the bill.
  • Right to be represented in the highest policy-making body of the school, the board of regents or its equivalent in the case of private schools.
  • Right to access to information, especially those that affect students’ rights and welfare. Schools are prohibited from denying students access to official records, documents that are relevant to their welfare and rights. The right of students to access their own academic records are protected.
  • Right to freedom of expression. – This includes the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government and school authorities for the redress of their grievances. Access of students to media, including the publication or release of materials, is likewise guaranteed. Furthermore, schools are required to designate areas within school premises where students may hold their activities or organize protest rallies.
  • Right to academic freedom. – this provision enumerates elements of academic freedom, from the right to choose one’s academic interests to the right to be free from ideological indoctrination.
  • Right to due process. – The provision establishes an independent Student Disciplinary Tribunal comprised of representatives from the administration, student body, and faculty. The provision imposes minimum standards on due process: right against self-incrimination, access to evidence, right to confront witnesses, right to confidentiality, etc. Furthermore, the bill requires the SDT to resolve disciplinary cases with prompt (some schools use the process to delay the graduation of students).
  • Right against illegal searches and right to privacy are also guaranteed under the bill.
On tuition and other school fees
Regulations to tuition and school fees tend to be limited due to the deregulation of the education sector (thus, incentives like increasing tuition fees annually are given to private schools) . While there are certain reforms that may be pursued even under a deregulated framework, AKBAYAN believes that a review and reversal of the framework has to be undertaken.
In our bill, we tackle the issue of tuition fee increases using the students’ rights and welfare lens. Essentially, what our bill establishes are minimum guidelines in the imposition of TFIs: 1) posting of notice of proposal to increase the tuition fee, 2) at least one public meeting between the school administration and students (including their parents) on the proposed increase, 3) All documents pertaining to the increase shall be made available to students, and 4) during the Board deliberations on the increase, students have the right to present their position.
Education agencies and STRAW
The bill grants CHED, TESDA and Dep Ed the necessary powers to investigate and impose administrative sanctions on schools that violate the rights stipulated in the bill. They have the power to revoke the license of erring school, impose a fine not less than P200,000 but not more than P500,000, and recommend to the DOJ the prosecution of erring schools before a regular Court.

Violators shall be punished by a fine of not less than Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) but not more than One Hundred Thousand (P100,000.00) Pesos or by imprisonment for not less than one year but not more than five years, or both.
If the violator is a juridical person, the penalties shall be imposed on its officers or on the person guilty of violating the law.
Refusal of public officials to act on complaints constitutes gross negligence and shall be punished appropriately, in accordance with civil service laws, rules and regulations.
Students whose rights under this bill were violated may file civil case/s against the offender.

tama na ang abuso!

tama na ang abuso!

Learn more about Magna Carta of Students: http://www.nochain.wordpress.com

Read the entire text of Magna Carta of Students (reference bill- Students’ Rightas and Welfare Bill):



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