AS CLASSES FORMALLY OPEN TODAY: DepEd expects high turnout of enrollees

06/14/2010 - CEBU, Philippines - At least 470 of the 4,707 private schools nationwide, some of them in Cebu and other parts in the Visayas, have increased their tuition fee, but the Department of Education still anticipates a high turnout of enrollees as classes formally starts nationwide today.

In Cebu City, vice mayor-elect and education consultant Augustus Young said he also expects more students to proceed to college, especially with the P10,000 grant City Hall has provided to the new high school graduates.

Records from DepEd showed there are 44,691 public and private elementary schools and 10,066 high schools operating across the country.

At least 13,686,643 were enrolled in public and private elementary schools while 6,763,858 were enrolled in private high schools in school year 2008-2009.

Most of the schools had succeeded in convincing DepEd for a tuition fee increase for this school-year after they heeded the department’s advice not to increase tuition last year.

The schools contended they needed to increase tuition to also raise the salary of teachers, to improve school equipment and to purchase new books.

DepEd Secretary Mona Valisno then asked both parents and teachers to help monitor whether school administrators would comply with the conditions set in allowing them to raise tuition.

“Considering the financial difficulties being faced by many families, private schools are urged to exercise self-restraint and responsible stewardship in proposing tuition fee increases,” Valisno said in a memorandum.

Valisno had instructed the DepEd regional directors and division superintendents to closely monitor the strict compliance by private schools of the DepEd guidelines, particularly the consultation requirements with the parents, teachers and students before requests for tuition fee increases can be made.

She also said the administrators of the private schools are required to comply with the guidelines about the use of the proceeds of the increases in tuition and other school fees, whether they really used it to increase the salaries of teachers and for the purchase of new reading materials for the students (Freeman)

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