Kabataan Party-list to UP grads: Use knowledge, skills to serve the people
Youth political group Kabataan Partylist has a message to all iskolars ng bayan graduating today at the University Amphitheater, UP Diliman: Use your knowledge and skills to serve the people.
Kabataan Partylist Secretary General Vencer Crisostomo said the education they received from UP would be rendered futile if merely directed towards self-advancement and if used as instruments by ruling oppressors and elites to further their inherently vicious class interests.
“For the graduates, to serve the people must mean taking the road less traveled. As youths who possess the energy and optimism for change, as well as the skill and the knowledge to quickly comprehend today’s objective social constraints, they can contribute meaningfully in actualizing the goal of genuine social change by siding with the oppressed and marginalized,” said Crisostomo.
Kabataan spokesperson and legal counsel Terry Ridon, who is one of the thousands of graduates in today’s commencement exercises, added: “To serve the people is to dedicate time, skill and knowledge to serving those who are betrayed by the prevailing social system—the farmers, the workers, the urban poor, the fisherfolk, the voiceless, the victims of human rights violations, etc. The pursuit of profit and career advancement is indeed tempting but as UP grads, we must go beyond these pursuits and expectations and dare to realize the grander vision of serving the people.”
Kabataan Partylist also urged the graduates to draw inspiration from UP when reflecting on the paths they will tread after receiving their hard-earned diploma.
“Despite glaring maneuverings by the State to shift UP education from being a public service university to an educational institution that merely functions to contribute to a malevolent social order, the university is still rife with progressive ideas and radical imagination that are necessary to attain the goals of national development and social equality,” Crisostomo said.
The youth leader said “bold attempts to privatize the character of the premier state university through budget cuts and reliance on private corporations for the delivery of education services are continuously met with vigilance and militancy from students and academic personnel in order to preserve what is left of the cherished UP character of serving the marginalized and oppressed masses.”
Ridon added: “This is the UP that the graduates should always remember—the UP that goes down from its ivory tower to understand and experience the social realities which cannot be seen and felt at the pedestal, the UP that inculcates to its students sacrifice and genuine service to the people, the UP that is dissatisfied and discontented with the way things are and hopeful for the things that can be.”
“Graduating class of 2012, the world outside will tempt you to just think of yourselves, to forget about your community, to forget about collective. We hope that you will not to succumb to this temptation. May you continue to be guided by the memory of the University’s past, to change the present,” he ended. #