DepEd in advisory said it understood the need for private institutions to sustain its operations. However, it stressed out that this should be balanced with learners’ access to their services, especially for families who were struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The department shall endeavor to make any application of private schools of tuition increases transparent and reasonable, in accordance with the applicable laws and rules and regulations,” it added.
DepEd regional offices are processing applications for tuition and other fee increases in private basic education institutions under the current guidelines.
According to the education department’s initial data, regional offices already approved 645 out of 901 tuition fee increase applications of schools in 13 regions as of May 14.
The data also showed 556 private elementary and high schools applied for fees increase before community quarantine. Meanwhile, 345 private institutions applied during the quarantine.
DepEd Undersecretary for finance Annalyn Sevilla said the possibility of a moratorium on tuition fee increase would be discussed next week during a meeting with private school organizations.
DepEd also asked private schools for transparency on the breakdown of tuition and miscellaneous fees, citing concerns over other charges that are not related to the implementation of distance learning.
DepEd also reiterated that there would be no face-to-face classes until the national government agencies that it is already safe for children to go to school.
“DepEd assures the public that the alternative learning delivery modes (television, radio, online, printed modules) being updated and prepared are in accordance with education standards set by the Department,” it said.
“These modes have been used as supplement to face-to-face learning even before the pandemic,” added the agency.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) also clarified that there would be no pilot implementation of face-to-face classes for college students next month.
CHED chairman J. Prospero De Vera III explained that the test run means he would visit different higher education institutions (HEIs) to check the physical arrangements of classrooms and other facilities to know if face-to-face classes could be conducted.