By Charissa Atienza
Kabataan partylist Rep. Sarah Jane Elago has filed a resolution seeking to stop the annual increase in tuition and other school fees nationwide.
In her resolution, Elago called on her colleagues in the House of Representatives to “do necessary measures” to stop the annual increase in tuition and other school fees nationwide, as private basic education and higher education institutions in the country are preparing proposals for tuition and other school fees (TOSF) hikes for Academic Year 2019 to 2020.
“The entry of the average Filipino family to schools is obstructed by exorbitant TOSF as well as other expenses that keep a student from entering school. Another round of fee increases causes higher drop-outs, slower graduations, and fewer completion rates,” Elago said in filing House Resolution 2447.
“Millions of families are suffering from the additional costs brought about by additional two years required of students under the K-12 law. Low wages make it impossible for minimum wage earners to send their children to school,” she said.
Citing the National Union of Student of the Philippines, she said around 700 private schools, universities and colleges will submit applications for six to eight percent TOSF increase to the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED), which have approved the annual round of fee increases at the expense of students and families.
Elago said private schools point to TRAIN Law as one of the major reasons for increasing fees by around 10 percent which is higher than usual rate of six-percent.
“The government persists in treading the path of commercialization and deregulation in education. It basically gives school the liberty to increase fees without exercising strict control and oversight, resulting in skyrocketing TOSF increases in hundreds of schools nationwide,” she said.
“While claiming credit for the free education program, the Duterte government has not reversed the state policy of privatizing which has made education profitable to big businesses but inaccessible to many,” she said.