By Merlina Malipot
Only seven percent of the total number of private schools nationwide was allowed to implement tuition increase, the Department of Education (DepEd) said.
In a latest data from the Office of Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations Jesus Mateo, there are 14,430 private schools nationwide. For the school year (SY) 2018-2019, data shows that 92 percent (13, 266) or majority of private schools in the country did not implement a tuition increase.
The 947 private schools that were allowed to hike tuition represent seven (7) percent of the total number of private schools operating across the country while the remaining one (1) percent (114) private schools reported that they implemented decrease in tuition.
DepEd data also showed that the average schools fee for SY 2018-2019 is P22,792.14. Tuition and other fees in private schools range from P13, 786.71 to P64, 913.34. The DepEd data covers all regions except the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
In the breakdown, DepEd data showed Region III has the most number of schools with approved tuition increase at 172, followed by National Capital Region at 170 and Region VII at 169. DepEd also noted that “no private school” will implement tuition increase in Region VI (Visayas) and Region IX.
In an earlier interview with the Manila Bulletin, Mateo said that tuition increase is only possible “if there is a consultation” made with the parents and students. “If they agree with the increase of tuition, 70% should go to teachers’ salaries, 20 percent for improvement facilities and 10% for others,” he explained.
Schools, Mateo said, are also required to submit a financial audit. “If for example, last year they increased tuition, they need to show a document which proves that indeed, the 70% went to the salaries of teachers,” he added.
Mateo was referring to Republic Act 6728 or the “Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education” law which cites that private schools are “required to allocate 70 percent of the tuition increases for payment of salaries, wages, allowances and other benefits of teaching and non-teaching personnel” while the remaining 20 percent should be “allotted to the improvement of facilities or modernization of buildings” and the 10 percent may be used for “return of investment (ROI)” or used for the operation of the institution.
No final list
In the tertiary level, no final list of higher education institutions (HEIs) that will implement tuition hike has been released by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
More than two weeks after it has announced that 248 private universities and colleges have applied for tuition and other fees increase for academic year (AY) 2018-2019, CHED has yet to release an updated list of HEIs approved to increase tuition.
CHED Officer-in-Charge Prospero De Vera III noted that the number might increase since data from Region IV were not yet consolidated or will probably decrease after depending on the decision of Commission en Banc. The total number of private HEIs, excluding ARMM, is 1,652.