Break the Chain!
Youth and Students Campaign to Legislate the Students’ Rights and Welfare Bill
The Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW) Bill, also known as the Magna Carta of Students is a piece of legislation first filed nearly 15 years ago. The need for institutionalization of students’ rights and welfare into a national policy revived and unified then a student movement on a particular student agenda. More than a decade since the first attempt for the “Grand Charter”, the call to legislate the Magna Carta should gain ground through a renewed clamor among student and youth organizations and education stakeholders.
With the absence of such national policy that will uphold and protect the students’ rights and freedoms, the chain of oppression in many forms will continue to silence, repress, and undermine the role of students in nation building and their dignity as a person and citizen.
“Break the Chain” as a campaign call is the clamor to end the chain of campus repression in many schools around the country, and the fight to break the chain among the individual student who remain silent, disempowered, and marginalized in the campus.
The primary objective is to
Pass Students’ Rights and Welfare Bill in the 15th Congress.
- Lobbying – involves the participation in public hearings, technical working group in both houses of Congress, monitoring of the progress of the bill, dialogue with legislators and getting their votes in support of the bill
- Local and regional consultations – these should contribute to awareness raising and information about the bill that will generate signatures and resolutions from youth and student organizations and other supporters.
- Media campaign and public relations – production of materials; media events / activities; networking and partnerships.
- Research and documentation of cases of campus repression – a service feature of the campaign that will seek evidences supporting the need to pass the bill and will seek redress to the cases of abuse or repression reported.
Notes for the briefer of the STRAW Bill:
What is Students’ Rights and Welfare Bill?
The Students’ Right and Welfare Bill is an Akbayan-authored bill refiled in the 15th Congress to uphold and protect the rights and welfare of the students. It is the Grand Charter for students’ fundamental rights and freedoms. The bill is authored by Akbayan Representatives Kaka Bag-ao and Walden Bello.
The lack of a national policy to promote and protect the rights and welfare of the students has paved the way for numerous repressive school policies that have continuously marginalized the students in the whole education system and in the process of democracy. From deregulated fee increases to media censorship to lack of an independent Student Government and as far as to campus militarization, no comprehensive policy currently exists that can guard the students from further exploitation. Students, as the biggest stakeholder in the education sector, are entitled to co-determine the processes, goals, and life in the campus.
The Students’ Rights and Welfare Bill is guided by principles that education in the campus is the institutional mechanism for holistic development of the individual to contribute to nation building and societal change.
What is the STRAW Bill for?
The bill, if passed into law, will promote the rights and freedoms of the students. Specifically, it seeks to guarantee the following for students: 1) Right to competent instruction and relevant quality education; 2) Right to organize; 3) Right to establish a student council/government and publish a student newspaper; 4) Right to adequate welfare services; 5) Right to representation and participation in policy making bodies and processes; 6) Right to access to information; 7) Right to freedom of expression, initiative, referendum and appeal; 8 ) Academic freedom; 9) Right to due process; 10) Right to privacy.
What is the STRAW Bill against?
The STRAW Bill seeks to protect the students from unjust and inappropriate measures imposed in the campus to uphold dignity of the individual, the right to education, and to ensure the security of the students and the academic community. The STRAW Bill is against the following:
- Against discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, socio-economic status, political and religious beliefs, ethnicity, or disability.
- Against denial of access to adequate welfare services and academic facilities.
- Against illegal searches and seizures.
- Against militarization of the school campus.
- Against tuition and/or school fee increase without due consultation.
What can you or your organization do to help legislate the STudents’ Rights and Welfare Bill?
- Raise awareness on the bill and conduct local consultations in your campus.
- Write a resolution supporting the bill or collect as many signatures of students as you can and deliver / discuss it with your district congressperson.
- Report cases of campus repression and/or abuse of school authorities.
- Participate or monitor the progress of the bill in both houses of Congress.
- Join the Break the Chain! campaign.
Unbridled tuition costs,
Lack of consultation,
Harassment and undue process,
Closure of publication,
BREAK THE CHAIN!
Legislate STRAW Bill Now!
For cases of campus repression, abuse or undue process, contact us @ 09177336910 / 09298158702 / (02) 4336933 / firstname.lastname@example.org.