/ 24 November 2020

MORE than 700 alumni of the Ateneo de Manila University backed students calling for an academic strike to protest the government’s alleged slow response to the Covid19 pandemic and the recent typhoons.

In a statement, the graduates said that the students should not be penalized for their actions.

“We, the undersigned alumni of the Ateneo School System, support the petition calling for a student strike in response to the current political climate of neglect, climate injustice, and suffering this administration has peddled for the past four years,” they said.

“The spontaneous call for a mass student strike presented the very real possibility of a political moment. That the idea spread like wildfire beyond Ateneo to campuses around Metro Manila and beyond shows us that the spark for change can come from unexpected places,” it added.

The group added that the strike is “an affirmation of the importance and value of education.”

The alumni called on teachers to show utmost understanding to the strikers and not punish them.

They also echoed the students’ demands for the national government to “act now or step down.”

Meanwhile, the Office of the Associate Dean for Student Formation and representatives of student and alumni groups released a statement on the agreements reached regarding the student strike.

These include the reaffirmation of students’ right to express grievances, better coordination for mobilizations on campus, and the provision of support for students affected by the recent typhoons.

Scholars who join the strike may keep their scholarships if they do not have an F or W mark in the first quarter.