1,246 schools nationwide get DepEd approval to hike tuition
The Department of Education (DepEd) announced Monday that it had approved the request of more than 1,000 private schools nationwide to raise their tuition and miscellaneous fees.
Education Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo said the department approved the request of 1,246 private schools to raise their tuition and other fees. They represented kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools, including integrated schools nationwide.
Of the 1,556 schools that sought an increase, 310 were disapproved. Schools in Region III (Central Luzon) had the most number of requests at 493. However, they only placed second to Region IV-A (Calabarzon) in terms of the number of schools allowed to collect higher fees this coming school year.
Calabarzon topped the list with 264 schools, followed by Central Luzon with 257 and Region VII (Central Visayas) with 170.
The country has 15,831 private schools, as per school year 2012-2013.
All schools in Region II (Cagayan Valley), Region V (Bicol), Region VI (Western Visayas), Central Visayas, Region VIII (Eastern Visayas), Region IX (Zamboanga) and Region XII (Soccsksargen) that filed for an increase were approved by DepEd.
The National Capital Region had 171 schools that applied for an increase, but only 139 got the go-signal. No schools in Region X (Northern Mindanao), XI (Davao), Caraga, the Cordillera Administrative Region and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao filed for an increase.
The highest request for tuition and other fees was at 29 percent, while the lowest was at 1.25 percent.
Under the department’s 2010 revised manual of regulations for private schools in basic education, schools wishing to raise their tuition and other fees should submit to the DepEd a “statement of the itemized current rates of tuition and other charges and the corresponding itemized proposed changes, the new fees or charges proposed to be imposed and the proposed allocation of the incremental proceeds.
They must also submit financial statements indicating their financial status, certified by a public accountant, as well as a copy of the last tax return filed in the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Consultations with the parents and students must also be conducted by the schools.
The DepEd order also said that an increase in tuition and other school fees would only be approved if 70 percent of it will be allocated for the salary increase of teaching and nonteaching personnel. The remainder of the increase will be for institutional development, student assistance and extension services as well as return of investment.
“In no case shall the return [of] investments exceed 12 percent of the incremental proceeds,” the order read.
Mateo said increasing the salaries of teachers in the private schools is important, since a number of them are being lured by the higher salary in public schools. While it may be good to some extent, he said it is not ideal since “private schools are our partners in providing quality education.”
The increase was immediately met with opposition by activist youth groups, which said that it may cause an influx of students to the public schools.
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