Parent cries foul vs illegal collection of school fees-A A +A
Thursday, June 28, 2012
A SCHOOL principal and three teachers might face administrative charges for allegedly violating Republic Act 5546 or the law prohibiting the collection of contributions from school children of public primary, intermediate and high schools.
Alona Lopez, vice president of the pre-school’s Federated Parents and Teachers Association (PTA), said she is bent on filing charges against Emmanuel Alingig, school principal of Gusa Elementary School, before the Department of Education’s (DepEd) City school’s Division and the Ombudsman for allegedly collecting fees.
Also included in the charge sheet are three other teachers at the school’s pre-school department.
Lopez said she will formally submit and file the case after gathering all evidences and affidavits either Wednesday or Thursday.
The controversy started when fees for textbooks and PTA fees, including ticket booklets, were allegedly collected in the pre-school department and higher grade levels.
When sought for comment, Alingig said it is clear that the school is not allowed to collect fees for whatever purposes.
He said there was no collection done by the teachers and claimed it was the parents themselves who agreed to contribute for the betterment of the school.
Alingig said under DepEd policy, students will be enrolled provided that their parents participated in the Brigada Eskwela to help the school and as a way of showing their support in whatever way they can.
“As we all know, the government can only do so much. And we have to have our initiative to improve our school and make it as conducive for learning as possible. The parents themselves agreed to help the school through their contributions and it is not the teachers who are doing the collections but the parents,” he said.
Alingig said during Brigada Eskwela, not all parents joined due to their working schedules and instead offered to donate for the beautification and cleanliness of the school.
“The parents themselves offered to give donation since they do not have time to participate in the Brigada. The money donated was then used to buy materials for the repair of classrooms and payment to carpenters since the school cannot afford it in the first place,” he said.
Sec. 1 of RA 5546, as amended, states that “sale of tickets and or collection of contributions in any form whatsoever, by any person for any project or purpose, whether voluntary or otherwise, from school children, students and teachers of public and private schools, colleges and universities is hereby prohibited.”
However, it is also stated under the law that the “prohibition shall not cover membership fees of school children and students in the Red Cross, the Girl Scouts of the Philippines and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.”
It also provides that the prohibition shall not cover the contributions of parents and other donors for the support of barrio high schools. (Abigail Chee Kee Malalis)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 28, 2012.