THE Department of Education (DepEd) warned that the number of private schools that would increase matriculation fees for school year 2014-2015 would continue to rise as school opening nears.
As this developed, a student group on Thursday stormed the central office of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) in Quezon City to demand the stoppage of tuition and all forms of school fees increases for the coming academic year.
Undersecretary Tonisito Umali, in an interview aired over dzMM, said the 244 private schools that sought additional tuition only came from two regions.
Umali added that the DepEd Central Office has allowed 172 schools in the National Capital Region (NCR) to increase tuition.
He said 613 schools from nine regions have filed requests for tuition increases. “Last year, 691 schools filed for an increase,” Umali said.
This year, an average increase of five to 15 percent was asked by provincial schools, while NCR schools have proposed an eight-percent increase.
“This is because 70 percent of the increase should go to the salaries of teachers, 20 percent to the improvement of school facilities and acquisition of equipment and only 10 percent for their profit,” he said.
“Schools applying for tuition increases must submit their audited financial statement, income tax return and payroll to our regional offices so that we can check whether previous increases were allocated correctly,” Umali stressed.
Earlier, 244 private elementary and high schools in Metro Manila and in Yolanda-devastated areas in Eastern Visayas were allowed to increase their tuition rates for the coming school year.
The DepEd approved the petitions for tuition hike of 172 schools in the metropolis, 23 in Region 12, 21 in Region 4B, 12 in Region 2, 11 in Region 8, three in Region 9, and two in Region 13.
Tuition rates in Metro Manila will increase by eight percent, those in Region 2 by 9.55 percent and in Region 4B by 5.80 percent, DepEd said, adding it is still waiting for reports from other regions.
Data show a total of 285 schools from the National Capital Region and Regions 2, 4B, 8, 9, 12 and 13 have filed petitions for tuition hikes.
In Eastern Visayas, at least 19 schools applied for tuition increase but only 11 were allowed.
DepEd said there are 933 secondary schools and 2,118 kindergarten and elementary schools in Metro Manila.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has announced that a total of 353 private universities and colleges have filed petitions for an increase in tuition and other fees this coming school year.
Metro Manila has the most number of private high schools seeking tuition hike with 74.
None of the 81 private tertiary schools in Region 8 applied for an increase.
Last year, 354 private universities and colleges and 903 elementary and high schools raised their tuition and other fees.