THE Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday approved the increase in tuition in 1,013 private elementary and high schools across the country for school year 2017-2018.
Private schools whose applications to increase tuition were approved represent 8 percent of the 12,890 private elementary and secondary schools in the country, Education Secretary Leonor Briones told reporters in a news briefing at the DepEd central office in Pasig City.
“1, 013 out of 12,890 private schools are allowed to increase their tuition [for this school year]. We have a fixed rate in elementary and secondary education, but some private schools will increase their tuition because they have to build new buildings and other [school]facilities, increase the salaries of teachers, etc., that has to be approved. There are schools that will offer senior high school, they have to build new buildings and laboratory facilities,” Briones said.
“So it’s [the parents]choice if they will send their children to private schools…but there are private schools that will not increase their tuition fee,” the DepEd chief added.
Briones, meanwhile, said the matter of increase in salaries of public school teachers should be taken very seriously because it would have an impact on private schools.
“The challenge for us now is the migration of teachers from private schools to public schools,” she said.
Region 11 (Davao Region) has the highest number of private schools that will impose tuition hikes, with 154 out of 596 schools (26 percent). It was followed by Region 5 (Bicol) with 101 out of 553 schools (18 percent) and Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) with 88 out of 593 schools (15 percent).
Only 183 or 9 percent of the 2,032 private schools in Metro Manila were allowed to increase tuition. There was no data on the average tuition hike for this school year.
Based on the 2010 Manual of Regulations of DepEd, 70 percent of any tuition hike should go to the upgrading of teachers’ salaries, 20 percent to the improvement of school facilities and equipment, and 10 percent to return on investment of the school owners.
The Commission on Higher Education earlier approved 268 applications of private colleges and universities to increase tuition and miscellaneous fees next academic year. This was equivalent to 16 percent of the total number of colleges and universities in the country.