News Southern Tagalog

DepEd condemned for allowing tuition hike in 645 private schools

DepEd approves tuition increase on 645 out of 901 private schools.

Despite their statement urging basic education private schools to defer the increase of tuition and other school fees in the time of the pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) approved the tuition hike of 645 out of 901 private schools, according to their partial available data as of May 14.

As a response, the National Union of Students of the Philippines lambasted the said move, saying that the education department is ‘insensitive’ to Filipino families who send their kids to private schools. 

“While parents and students are having a hard time with their tight budgets, DepEd gives its go-signal to the fee hikes. This displays how insensitive DepEd and President Duterte are to the economic hardships of the people,”  NUSP Deputy Secretary General Jandeil Roperos said. 

There were a total of 556 private elementary and high schools applied before the community quarantine started, while 345 private schools applied during the quarantine, across the 13 regions in the country.

On June 25, DepEd appealed to private schools to postpone their requests for tuition increases, citing the financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “The Department of Education (DepEd) appeals to private educational institutions in basic education to defer increases in tuition and other miscellaneous fees or charges for School Year 2020-2021 in view of the financial constraints that parents and learners are expected to face due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation,” DepEd said in their statement.

Roperos also stated that there are no tuition and other fees increase reasonable while Filipinos are suffering from the economic impact of the crisis, as DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones mentioned that regional directors can approve tuition fee increases as long as it can be ‘justified’.

“DepEd is a double-dealing, two-faced agency of the anti-poor Duterte administration. It pays lip service to the demand of students for a moratorium on tuition and other fee increases amid the pandemic,” Rosperos added.

Since the start of the pandemic, the NUSP has already called to freeze tuition fee increases and stop the collection of school fees, as part of their Six Comprehensive Student Demands. 

“Perhaps DepEd lives in an alternate reality where families are doing well amid the pandemic,” she ended. [P]

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