DepEd: No graduation fee collection

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013


THE Department of Education (DepEd) warned teachers that no graduation fees and other fees should be collected from their pupils unless authorized by parents association.

“We are strict on the guidelines of the DepEd that education should be provided free of charge to Filipinos. No fees should be collected,” said DepEd–Cordillera Elementary Division Regional Director Ellen Donato.

Donato said they usually receive yearly complaints on the collection of graduation fees from parents. She admitted that this is always the problem yearly because some Parents and Teachers Associations (PTAs) had been collecting fees from pupils.

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Donato said collection of fees is allowed when it was decided properly during the PTA meeting.

She added the problem is they have no power to say no when it is the desire of the parents or pupils to collect fees for a certain celebration.

She said DepEd sets the guidelines for PTA to follow but has no jurisdiction over the decision of the parents. She said DepEd also has no power to audit where the collected fees went.

Donato said what they can only do for the complainants is to conduct an assessment if the collection of fees was indeed a collective decision of most parents.

Donato also said most of the PTA officials are also the officials during the previous years. She said most of them want to stay on as officials of the PTA even if their kids graduated from elementary claiming that they still have grandchildren at the school.

Most of the PTAs in schools are monopolized and controlled by the same people every year.

Some of the PTAs do not actually represent the majority of the parents wherein the decisions of the officials are usually carried out as the decisions of the whole association. This results in some parents complaining on the collection of fees to DepEd hoping the agency could mediate but to no avail.

She said there are amendments to the PTA constitution and by–laws filed at the central office of DepEd to address the problems but until now, it is still under deliberation.

Apart from the no collection of graduation fees, having a year book is also not mandated for a pupil to pay.

Collection of fees for a grand celebration of any occasion in schools is also not allowed. Indigent pupils should not be forced to pay any fees if she really does not have money to pay.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 21, 2013.

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