New Direction, Priority in Education Policy

Manila Bulletin, May 19, 2005 | Go to article overview

New Direction, Priority in Education Policy


INNOVATION in public policy made a significant headway in setting new direction and priority in educational governance when the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) the other day acted to regulate increases in tuition and miscellaneous fees in colleges and universities.

In a memorandum order addressed to heads of schools, including state universities and colleges, acting CHED Chairman Carlito S. Puno warned of unwarranted increases in tuition fees or their permits to operate would be withdrawn.

***

The order is important as a change in education policy because it underscores the sensibilities of government in responding to economic difficulties, particularly affecting families with children of school age.

It means CHED understands that education must not be sacrificed by all means; that on the contrary, it must be supported at all cost to build the foundation blocks upon which the countrys hopes depend.

It means recognition of schools and universities for their own values, and of education for being worthy of its own merit.

***

As may be noted, most schools have made requests for authority to increase their tuition fees, citing various reasons to justify the raise.

But even before the memorandum order was released, a number of private schools had withdrawn their applications "after they realized they have overpriced their tuition," according to Puno.

"We are glad they withdrew their tuition requests," the newly installed CHED chairman said, expressing hope others would emulate the example.

Most of the schools were requesting for as much as 15 percent increase in tuition fees.

***

As this developed, we noted yesterday that the Department of Education (DepEd) had also warned public school officials against imposition of monetary contributions for school projects and other extracurricular activities.

"You cannot make the collection of miscellaneous fees a condition for enrollment or even graduation," DepEd Secretary Florencio Abad told school superintendents and other public school officials. …

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