MANILA, Philippines – Marcela Ele is not choosy. As long as her youngest child goes to college, it doesn’t matter if much is to be desired of the campus’ facilities. After all, they’re used to making ends meet.
“Importante, makapag-aral (The important thing is to be able to study),” Marcela, a househelp, said.
She had high hopes for Mae when she first entered her in the Philippine School of Business Administration-Quezon City (PSBA-QC) last year.
From what Marcela heard, PSBA-QC is known for its business administration programs. “Siguro naman hindi tayo mahihirapan na maghanap ka ng trabaho ‘pag tapos ka na (It shouldn’t be hard for you to find a job after you graduate from PSBA-QC.),” she told Mae.
Moreover, they can afford the school – for when they can’t pay in time, there’s always the promissory note to the rescue.
But today, both Marcela and Mae have doubts about staying even for one more semester.
News shocked the campus on September 25 when a newspaper ad announced the closure of the school effective October 18 or the end of first semester classes.
The notice cited business losses and managerial concerns as reasons for the closure. It also said students – about 4,000 of them – may transfer to PSBA-Manila for the second semester.
But the Manila campus is too far and too inconvenient for Mae, who already started inquiring in colleges near their humble home in Daang Tubo, Barangay Loyola Heights.
Like her mother, she’s not choosy. As long as they can afford the next school, and as long as her one and a half years’ worth of units in Financial Management will be credited, she can manage.
It may not be as prestigious as PSBA-QC, but at least there she can study in peace.
Professors face uncertainties too, even as they have started weighing their options should they be terminated on November 8.
Jaime Perez, a PSBA-QC professor for 20 years, said when worse comes to worst, he’s ready to say goodbye to his full-time job.
“My first recourse is to look for other institutions since I’m still employable and other universities are welcoming me,” he said.
Sixty-one-year-old Josie Guerrero, on the other hand, said finding another job will be tougher for older professors like her.
“Retirable na ako e. Kung mag-apply naman kami sa labas, wala na, nasa senior citizen na ako, wala nang available job opportunities sa amin, kumbaga very slim kasi ang pagbibigyan nila ‘yung mga bata,” she lamented.
(I’m already retirable. If I apply outside, there won’t be any more job opportunities for a senior citizen like me. My chances are slim because employers would prefer younger applicants.)
Faculty members – there are 108 of them, according to the school website – are also waiting for their money claims from the administration.
Jaime said they have not yet received 70% of the school’s tuition increase in 2007.
The law mandates private schools to allot 70% of its tuition increase for the salaries, wages, allowances, and other benefits of its teaching and non-teaching personnel.
He said the administrators kept appealing since they filed a case in 2010. Professors fear the case will keep dragging on until the school really closes down.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) earlier told the school administration that they could not close down mid-way through the academic year. Students, faculty, and staff have threatened to bring the issue to court if the school insisted on ending its programs before the second semester.
CHED has since initiated a mediation between the factions of the administration to finally resolve the issue of closure and avoid panic and confusion among employees, students, and parents.
If the notice of closure is proved legal, then the PSBA-QC community only has 10 days left to keep fighting for their cause. But for those who have already given up, they have 10 more days to plan where they’re headed next. – Rappler.com