Over 1,000 students and teachers from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) in Laguna walked out of their classes on January 29, demanding to scrap UPLB Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco’s Memorandum No. 001, aiming for the implementation of the conversion of all foundation and general education/basic courses into large classes.
The memorandum, signed last January 15, will result to an increase from the current 25-40 students class size to 120-175 students per class effective first semester of school year 2010-2011.
Students and teachers who joined the protest believe that the policy is a cost-cutting measure of the UPLB administration to augment the lack of government subsidy as the university faces a P12.7 B budget deficit for the academic year 2010-2011. The policy, they said, will decrease the quality of education, overhaul teaching approaches, lessen student participation in the absence of critical discussion, increase teachers’ workload and will likely cause mass-layoff.
They also regard the policy as anti-academic freedom and unconstitutional because it has been decided upon unilaterally by Chancellor Velasco, by-passed the power of the UP Board of Regents, and had no consultation with the students and the faculty members.(Photos by UPLB Youth Lead)