Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NO Graduation Fees to Filipino Students


DepEd renews call  for schools to refrain from collecting any 
graduation fees
In line with its vision to put every school-aged child in school at  no cost, the Department of Education (DepEd) has renewed the call for  public and private elementary and secondary schools  to refrain from collecting any fees from students  now that schools have started preparing their respective graduation rites. Education Secretary Armin Luistro reminded  all education stakeholders particularly the school heads and teachers of the more than 55,000 private and public schools under its supervision to focus on ensuring quality education for all rather than holding lavish graduation ceremonies which give additional financial burden to parents.

“The mandate of the department is to bring every school-aged child in school and not to encourage enrolment specifically among the very poor because they of the unnecessary fees  they need to shoulder during celebrations like graduation,” Luistro said. Earlier the department has instructed schools to hold simple graduation rites through its DepEd Order No.4, series 2011 highlighting its policy on the conduct and collection of fees for graduation rites. DepEd has taken an aggressive position to put every school-aged child in school at no cost as part of its Education for All (EFA) commitment, a promise of 100 percent enrollment of all children and youth of school age by 2015. In fact, the department has been exploring several means to eliminate obstacles that prevent a child from being in school. Luistro furthered that graduation should serve as a reward to parents for sending their children to school and should not be a reason for them to worry
financially.”


Addressing the problem on the high cost of education, the DepEd’s emphasis on the  no collection of fees policy is in line with the Philippine Constitutional mandate to provide free public education at the elementary and secondary levels. The department also appeals to schools to refrain from holding graduation party or ball that will require students to pay additional expenses unless agreed upon by parents-teachers association (PTA)  and collection must be on a voluntary basis.

Under DepEd Order No.4, this year’s graduation theme  is  “The Graduate: A Partner Towards Transformational Society, An Answer to Societal Change” (Ang Mga Magsisipagtapos: Kaagapay Tungo sa Pagbabagong Anyo ng Lipunan, Tugon sa Hamon ng Sambayanan). It also mentions that graduation rites shall be scheduled any day between April 1-7, 2011.

Ang nasa itaas ay ang direktiba ng DepEd (Department of Education) ng Pilipinas hinggil sa pagbabawal ng paghingi ng graduation fees para sa magsisipagtapos na mag-aaral sa elementarya, high school at kolehiyo. Kapuri-puri ang mungkahing ito ng departamento dahil makakatipid ang mga magulang sa dagdag gastos. Nguni't sa mga magsisipagtapos (at sa mga magulang na rin), hindi magiging masaya ang kanilang inaasam-asam na araw kung sila ay aakyat ng entablado na kupas at may punit pa ang school uniform na suot habang inaabot ang kani-kanilang diploma - katibayan ng kanilang pagtatapos - ang gantimpala ng kanilang maghihirap at magsisikap. Walang kasaya-saya! Hindi memorable!


Bilang magulang na Pilipino, ang ipagtapos ang kanilang mga anak ay isa ng kayamanan. Ito ay isang masayang okasyon para sa mga mag-aaral at mga magulang. Ang araw na ito ay inaasam-asam ng bawa't isa sa kanila.  May saya ba silang madarama kung ang araw ng pagtatapos ay isang simpleng seremonya lamang?


Hindi naman kailangang garbong-garbo ang pagdaraos ng graduation. Nguni't dapat ay maging memorable ito sa kanilang buhay. Hindi yaong  walang kalatoy-latoy na pagdiriwang. Sabi nga ni Ka Iska, " Kesehodang ipangutang ko 'yang si Bien ko, ibibili ko siya ng long sleeves o barong tagalog at sapatos sa kanyang graduation!"


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