DepEd reiterates no collection fees, optional uniforms for public schools
by Juliet B. Saley
Bontoc, Mt. Province (12 June) -- The Schools Division Office here furnished last week all its school heads a Memorandum issued by Assistant Regional Director, Officer-In-Charge Josefina G. Tamondong reiterating President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's instruction to strictly implement DepEd's Policy on "No Collection of Fees" and "Uniforms Optional" in public elementary and secondary schools.
It will be recalled that last year, DepEd Secretary Jesli A. Lapus issued DepEd Order No. 19,S.2008 entitled "Implementation of No Collection Policy in all public elementary and secondary schools."
Under this Order, it points out that there is an urgent need to remove obstacles to enrolment of school-aged children to meet the country's targets in the Education For All (EFA) Plan 2015 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with respect to primary school. These obstacles include the out-of-pocket costs which families have to bear in the course of sending their children to school.
It prohibits the collection of fees from school children enrolling in pre-school up to Grade IV, during the enrolment period and at any time during the school year. The prohibition shall cover, among others, authorized but voluntary contributions such as Boy/Girl Scout of the Philippines, Red Cross, Anti-TB Fund and Parents-Teachers-Community Association (PTCA).
For grade and year levels beyond Grade 4, it prohibits the collection of any type during the enrolment period and the first month of classes. Starting on the second month, contributions for Boy/Girl Scouts membership, Red Cross membership, Anti-TB Fund Drive, PTCA, school publication and membership in student organization may be collected but only on voluntary basis.
PTCAs may start their collection only after presenting to their members and to the school administration a report on the utilization of the previous school year's collections.
The amount of contributions to the PTCA shall be agreed upon in a general assembly of the PTCA.
Collection of school publication fee shall be set at the school level but shall not be more than P60.00 per elementary school pupil and P90.00 per secondary school student. The publication of a school newspaper, while not mandatory, is strongly encouraged particularly at the secondary level in line with the campus journalism program.
Collection of membership fees for student organizations shall be set by the organization subject to existing school policies on student organizations.
To ensure that the provisions of this Order are strictly complied with, regional and division offices are advised to undertake monitoring activities especially during the enrolment period and the first month of classes. Any violation should be subject to administrative action.
Likewise, under the DepEd Order No.45,S.2008 entitled "Student uniforms not required in public elementary and secondary school," the President has ordered that the wearing of a school uniform shall not be required in public schools but students with existing uniforms may continue using them if they so desire to avoid incurring additional costs for new attire, and that Identification (ID) cards shall be provided to students at no cost to them. (PIA MP) [top]