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PIA Press Release

Private school administrators appeal to Sec. Lapus in dialogue

Pasig City (25 October) -- The Federation of Associations of Private School Administrators (FAPSA) recently sought the assistance of Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus concerning a range of issues affecting private schools.

During its 9th general assembly last October 18, FAPSA, as an umbrella organization of private school associations with 1655 private school members in Manila, held a dialog Secretary Lapus in Don Bosco Makati. The dialog was attended by more than 300 officers and board members of Fapsa from 14 divisions in Manila.

There were seven issues raised by the federation under the theme "re-engineering education towards moving modern milieu "with the DepEd chief. Some of these were the wanton disregard of businessmen operating schools without DepEd permit with bogus curriculum affecting unsuspecting pupils. This was prompted by memo issued by then Secretary Armand Fabella in l994 making NCR operation-free school zone. DepEd is sought to study its old stand about the memo for revocation.

Fapsa also spelled out on Lapus the heavy taxes levied on private schools by LGU's when all schools are exempted by virtue of its SEC registration as non-stock non profit entity. Eleazardo Kasilag, Fapsa President, said that some naive school administrators were paying huge amount because of harassment from their respective Business Permit and Licensing Office as some school owners simply do not know of the constitutional exemption they enjoy. "Spare education" the word of Secretary Lapus to politicians in his speech before the administrators which Fapsa also claims as they assert that their institution is used directly, exclusively and actually for educational purpose thereby exempted from taxes. Kasilag appealed to Lapus to authenticate this in a memo to show harassing agencies who want to extort schools.

Fapsa also pointed out Senate Bill 2303 of Manny Villar disregarding the private schools to implement the no permit-no exam policy shall affect their operation. This bill is not well-thought out and shall dislocate small schools which live on tuition fees, Kasilag likened it to study now-pay later scheme which they cannot afford. Private schools are not subsidized by the government. Lapus advised Fapsa to lobby against the approval of said bill.

Fapsa also apeals to Lapus to do something about the exodus of the students to the public schools with heavy promissory notes left behind. The public schools have no stringent screening policy in accepting students from private schools and they are allowed to graduate even with huge account from us, Kasilag declared.

Lapus and Kasilag were united about jobs-skills mismatch and both agreed that the poor mindset about blue collar jobs has to change and to start with pupils in the pre-school, continued in the elementary and absorbed in high school. In college, it will be late and will be like teaching students how to swim when they are already drowning, Kasilag said. This joint venture from DepEd and Fapsa was hailed by Director III Marissa Legaspi, Action Officer of TESDA on the Tech Voc Ladderized Program who was also one of the guest speakers in that assembly of school administrators.

Lapus, for his part, declared the poor performance of some private schools hosting the voucher system or GASTPE in the National Achievement Test held in March and reminded the private schools to sustain its good impression in education. Lapus admitted that the teaching profession has been eroded and there is system breakdown but advised the Fapsa administrators to examine the quality of their schools now compared to how it was 20 years ago then make necessary adjustment. Lapus promised to study issues raised in the dialogue and shall call on private schools again soon. (DepEd/PIA) [top]

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