No collection policy, DepEd reiterates

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

THE Department of Education (DepEd) in Davao Region reiterated anew that all public schools nationwide would not collect any fee or contributions as condition for enrolment.

DepEd-Davao Regional Director Susana Teresa Estigoy said the policy is contained in the department's Order 65, Series of 2010, which particularly mandates all public school officials and personnel to strictly observe the "no collection of fees" policy.

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Estigoy announced this during the Tuesday launching of Oplan Balik Eskwela.

Order 65 provides for the "general guidelines on the opening of classes, including collection of school contributions, enrollment, student uniforms and release of MOOE (Maintenance Operations and Overhead Expenditures)."

The Order states: "No fees shall be collected from school children enrolling in pre-school up to Grade 4 during the enrolment period and at any time during the school year."

The policy also stated that the "prohibition shall cover the authorized but voluntary contributions, such as Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP), Red Cross, Anti-Tuberculosis (TB) fund and Parents-Teachers Association (PTA), among others."

Same rule shall also be applied for grade and year levels beyond Grade 4, "during the enrolment period and the first month of classes," the policy provides. However, "starting on the second month of every school year, contributions may be collected, but only on a voluntary basis," it added.

The order also enumerates the corresponding amount for the authorized but voluntary contributions, such as for BSP and GSP is P50 per learner; anti-TB fund drive (P5 per student); school publications (not more than P60 for elementary; not more than P90 for high school).

The PTA contributions would be determined by the Board of Directors and the membership fees for school organizations must be based on the existing school policies.

Estigoy explained that the PTA fees may be collected after submission of report "on the utilization of the previous school year's collections."

The regional director also said that Order 65 highlights a provision that old students or "pupils/students who are promoted to the next grade or year level are considered automatically enrolled for the coming school year in the same school."

"Only incoming students such as Grade 1, first year high schools and transferees from other schools need to register for the enrolment period," said Estigoy, adding that old students would only report for sectioning.

Another feature of the order concerns on the wearing of school uniforms, which would not be required in public schools.

Estigoy, however, said that students who still have their old uniforms may continue using them.

She said the order is "pursuant to the Constitutional mandate on the provision of free public education at the elementary and secondary levels" and in line with the "Education for All Goals 2015."

"We are preparing for this critical period when we expect issues to come out on how schools conduct the preparations for the school opening given these policies," Estigoy said. (PIA)

No collection policy deped reiterates

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