DepEd issues guidelines on voluntary contributions in public schoolsBy Kristine Felisse Mangunay
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Education released on Tuesday guidelines for the first day of classes on June 6.
Under Memorandum Circular no. 41, the DepEd reminded the parties concerned about the implementing policies on the collection of voluntary school contributions.
The memo states that no fees shall be collected from schoolchildren in kinder to Grade 4. Grade 5 to fourth year high school students shall not pay fees from June to July, but may, if they choose to, donate cash or pay fees for extra-curricular activities during August until the end of the school year. These fees, strictly on a voluntary basis, include membership fees for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of the Philippines, parents-teachers associations, contributions for anti-tuberculosis fund drives, school publications and student organizations. (The ban on the collection of fees from June to July ensures that the fees will not be used as a precondition for students to enter public schools.)
The memorandum, signed by Education Secretary Armin Luistro and dated May 25, 2011, was released to reporters in the final command conference organized by the DepEd in coordination with its Oplan Balik Eskwela partners—the Department of Health, Philippine National Police, Department of Public Works and Highways, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, among others.
The Oplan Balik Eskwela program aims to ensure the smooth opening of classes for the school year 2011-2012.
“On a scale from 1 to 10, I would say we are a 9 in terms of readiness,” DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo, chair of the Oplan Balik Eskwela program, said.
Aside from the policies on voluntary contributions, the DepEd has reminded the public that the wearing of school uniforms shall not be required in public schools.