Uphold Academic Freedom in USTe

24 02 2011

Statement of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines on the Case of Academic Repression in the University of Santo Tomas

We, members of the Student Council Alliance of Philippines (SCAP), the broadest and largest alliance of student councils and governments, student political parties and student leaders in the country pushing for reforms in education, strongly condemn the violation on academic freedom committed by University of Santo Tomas Theology professor Aguedo Florence A. Jalin Jr.

Recently, Akbayan Partylist Facebook page was barraged by troll anti-Reproductive Health posts by students from Jalin’s class as an “optional assignment”.  Although we welcome healthy exchange of ideas through a debate, maybe it be online or otherwise, SCAP is against all forms of coercion especially by teachers who pawn their students not for genuine learning but for advancing personal agenda.

Mr. Jalin Jr. stated in his admission that the students’ stances were “designed to show consistency of thoughts.” The students were “designed” to think alike with their professor, limiting their capability to pursue the truth and express their own opinions bereft of the coercion from their mentor.

SCAP condemns Jalin’s act of peddling incentives for the purpose of advancing agenda compromising the real value for education.  Jalin grossly violated the right of the student to quality education grounded on critical and independent thinking.

SCAP recognizes the role of our nation’s teachers towards molding a generation of active citizens for the country’s development.  At the same time, SCAP fervently salutes all the teachers, including the many in UST who have been true to their profession, who continue to mold young minds to be independent and do not debase the profession into mere incentives.

This case in UST is an indicator that the long overdue Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW) Bill or House Bill 2190 should be legislated in order to protect the students’ right to dissenting opinion.  We urge our lawmakers to help prevent future cases of academic repression through the passage of the said bill that upholds students’ right to academic freedom necessary for the conduct of citizenship.


Link to Mr. Aguedo Florence A. Jalin Jr admission statement:http://akbayanyouth.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/akbayan-youth-on-reports-that-certain-ust-teachers-motivated-students-to-reject-the-rh-bill-in-exchange-for-bonus-points/#comments

Link to Akbayan’s Page: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=501824811919&id=1141035022#!/pages/AKBAYAN-PARTYLIST/61953501555




4 responses

26 02 2011
Mark Josef Bornales

What are your standards of “troll” posts, because as far as i know, there is no standard definition to it yet. And oh, have you actually spoken to the student’s in question yet? And how can you say it is for “advancing personal agenda”? What “personal agenda” is it specifically?

Is what the students did different from what Akbayan people did when they gave the people the wrong impression that RH Bill = Condoms during Feb 14? :O

Just wondering. 🙂 And yes, I am pro RH Bill and I am Sir Jalin’s student. 🙂

1 03 2011

Hi Mark Joseph. I think having people look at the Akbayan Facebook site would give you a pretty clear idea of what a troll message is.

Anyways, all these queries of yours have been answered in the Akbayan Facebook page and we welcome your right to air them again. SCAP’s stand is always for academic freedom. We are not here to defend Akbayan’s position of giving out condoms on Valentine’s Day but to defend academic freedom which Mr. Jalin (I personally refuse to revere him with the title ‘professor’) violated by dangling incentives in order for students to take his stand.

Thank you so much. -(Gibby, SCAP Secretary-General)

7 03 2011

The Rh Bill , I would admit, still poses moral dilemma up to now. As there are in many cases, constitutional crisis, I would say that, RH Bill poses moral crisis. We have different personal judgment as to what we think is right and wrong. There may be those saying use of condoms is right, others will say it’s wrong, but the point is we have to respect each other’s freedom of opinion. The said UST Professor has his freedom of opinion, but to use incentives is for me, corruption of the values and right judgment of the students on the issue. It is abuse of academic freedom. Grade , in such case, “Bonus points” should have a rational basis since giving grades is a kind of logical process. You should not just give a bonus points just by mere posting a solicited opinion on facebook. Furthermore, rewarding those with similar opinion as his is like punishing, on the other hand, those who have dissenting opinion, isn’t it?

7 03 2011


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