Private schools association opposes ‘no permit, no exam’ rule

At a glance

  • The Federation of Associations of Private School Administrators (FAPSA) says the "no permit, no exam” bill is "ill-advised" because it will further aggravate the situation of the private education sector.

  • (Manila Bulletin file photo)

An association of private schools expressed opposition to the no permit, no exam” policy because it will further aggravate the situation of the private education sector.

Federation of Associations of Private School Administrators (FAPSA), in a statement, said that the bill banning the “no permit, no exam” policy did not consider the situation of administrators in private schools.

“FAPSA vehemently opposes this ill-advised bill,” said Chairman Eleazardo S. Kasilag. “Lawmakers have to realize private schools operate on tuition fees and miscellaneous fees,” he added.

Senate Bill 1359 or the proposed "No Permit, No Exam Prohibition Act" disallows private and public schools from barring students from taking examinations due to unpaid tuition.

However, Kasilag pointed out that if these fees are not paid on time, private schools do not have funds to give salaries to teachers and school personnel and they also could not pay utility bills.

Kasilag noted that SB 1359 claims that schools are encouraged to enforce other interventions such as withholding the release of diplomas or certificates, denying admission or enrolment in the succeeding school year or semester, refusing the issuance of applicable clearances, and pursuing the settlement of outstanding financial or property obligations through appropriate legal action.

However, Kasilag said that this measure will only lead to “disruption of classes and render closure to private schools” due to unpaid utilities --- among others.

“This is not much a problem in the public schools because the principal and teachers are paid by the state and all facilities are all funded by the government,” Kasilag said. “That is not enjoyed in the private schools,” he added.

Kasilag pointed out that private schools are “still reeling from the Covid-19 torments, while classes are now face to face, the financial aspect is still very unstable.”

He noted that “collectibles from our enrollees remain high and all logistics are still a big nightmare and instead of help, the government aggravates our condition.”

FAPSA, a multi-sectoral organization comprising educators, administrators, and students of private schools, colleges, and universities bound together by similar interests, welfare, and concerns, also expressed concern about the long-term effects of the proposed policy.

“It may help some students but it shall give some parents the license not to pay on time and consider their financial responsibility no longer a priority,” Kasilag said.

Instead of banning the “no permit, no exam” rule, FAPSA said that the best alternative should be lawmakers “shouldering the unpaid fees of delinquent parents” noting that “they may be our enrollees but they are their voters.”

“Are lawmakers aware that private schools have unpaid accounts by the millions from students who only had promissory notes, escaped responsibility and have already finished college?” Kasilag asked. “Surely, this bill is a ‘pied piper that shall create a fiesta among delinquent parents,” he added.