The Department of Education (DepEd) called on private schools to defer tuition fee increases for the incoming school year as parents and students may be facing financial difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Department of Education appeals to private educational institutions in basic education to defer increases in tuition and other miscellaneous fees or charges for School Year 2020-2021 in view of the financial constraints that parents and learners are expected to face due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation,” DepEd said in a statement.
The education department recognized the needs of private educational institutions to delivery quality education, but stressed that it “must be balanced with the accessibility of these services to learners, particularly those whose families are experiencing financial difficulties brought by the imposition of necessary COVID-19 management measures.”
According to DepEd, there have been reports and concerns of inconsistent fees and charges as schools shift to blended learning methods. DepEd then asked private educational institutions to be transparent with the breakdown of tuition fees.
"We understand that there are new expenses that come with distance learning, but there are also diminished expenses in light of the major change in learning delivery modality," DepEd said.
Should private schools want to raise tuition fates, they would have to justify the request. On June 10, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said DepEd’s regional directors should approve an increase in private school tuition fees.
DepEd added that it would meet with private school associations next week to discuss “non-negotiable” requirements for distance learning.
Included in DepEd's consultations are the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (Cocopea), Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities (ACSCU), Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU), and the Federation of Associations of Private School Administrators (FAPSA).
The DepEd stressed that there would be no face-to-face classes for 2020 until they receive a go signal from the Department of Health, the Inter-Agency Task Force, and President Rodrigo Duterte.