27 April 2009
Together with a fellow parent, I visited the DepEd NCR last Friday, 24 April, to find out if the school where my youngest child is studying (high school) has filed an application for tuition fee increase.
I enrolled my daughter as early as 1 April 2009 and the tuition fee increase WAS ALREADY IN EFFECT! NO VALID CONSULTATION WAS HELD BECAUSE ONLY A HANDFUL OF PTA OFFICERS, AMONG MORE THAN A THOUSAND ELEMENTARY AND HIGH SCHOOL PARENTS, WERE INVITED.
AND THE COLLEGE DEAN WHO CO-PRESIDED OVER THE MEETING WITH THE ELEMENTARY AND HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, SPEAKING OF THE TUITION FEE INCREASE, TOLD THOSE PRESENT, "WE DON'T NEED YOUR APPROVAL, WE'RE JUST INFORMING YOU."
To make the long story short, this is what happened at the DepEd NCR:
1) Miss Gloria Alday, a high school education supervisor and DepEd NCR OIC at that time (since Director Teresita Domalanta and her deputies were not around), confirmed that they have recently received such an application, April 22 if I was not mistaken.
2) While Miss Alday was talking to us, Dr. Namoro, another education supervisor, left the room and came back shortly afterwards to tell us that one of the people in the DepEd NCR Legal Department headed by Atty. Joylyn Dulnuan told her that copies of the application for tuition fee increases could not be released to us since it was not yet a "public document" as they still have to process it. Na-receive na ng isang public office pero hindi pa rin public document?
Nakakatuwa po ba so far? Ano pang credibility mayroon ang proseso kung ganyan ang asal ng mga tauhan ng Deped? Imbes na matuwa sila dahil gumugol ka ng pera at panahon upang puntahan ang kanilang opisina sa kagustuhan mong tumalima sa panawagan ni Secretary Lapus para magkaroon ng moratorium on tuition fee increases this school year ay kabaligtaran ang isasalubong sa 'yo!
I'll leave it here for now ... I just need to post this to warn you about what's going and what we can all do to stop this menace of heartless tuition fee increases and the way the DepEd and the CHED are not doing all they can to help and protect us Filipino parents who send our children to private schools.
This is a work in progress partly because I have to run for work now and partly because I would like to give you, my fellow Filipino parents, the opportunity to think more deeply about the problem of tuition fee increases and the solutions to it. As I write, hundreds of thousands of pre-need planholders are scratching their heads thinking how they can enroll their children this school year. Many more parents have actually moved their children to public schools which, unfortunately, year after year are becoming more congested. Other children have simply dropped out of school. This is a developing nightmare and we'd better wake up now before it's too late!
Yes, we Filipinos can do something to stop unreasonable and untimely tuition fee increases. If we join hands and ask God to lead us in this battle for our children's future, we can do something! And the future will be brighter for our children!
To God be the glory!