Ahead of the resumption of classes next week, Education Secretary Leonor Briones yesterday reminded all public school officials that no fees should be collected from parents on the first day of classes and be used as basis for non-admission of students.
Briones said that while the Department of Education (DepEd) has a list of authorized contributions, these must be voluntary and not compulsory, stressing that all Filipinos must be given free access to quality basic education.
She reiterated that collection of fees especially on the first day of classes dissuades cash-strapped parents from sending their children to school.
The DepEd chief also said wearing of school uniform was not mandatory among public school students. Those with existing uniforms may continue to use them to avoid incurring additional expenses, she added.
Identification cards should also be provided to students for free. She said school heads must finance the production of student ID cards using its funds for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).
Over 22.8 million students are expected to attend classes in about 46,700 public elementary and high schools nationwide on June 5. Private schools are scheduled to reopen on various dates after June 5.
Among the contributions approved by the DepEd include those for the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, the Philippine National Red Cross, the anti-TB fund drive, the parents-teachers association and the school publication.
These fees may only be collected on a voluntary basis among students from Grade 5 to high school starting August until the end of the school year. No fee shall be collected among schoolchildren in kindergarten up to Grade 4 throughout the school year.
School officials, teachers and other personnel had been warned that violation of these policies shall merit administrative charges.
SOURCE: DEP-ED PHILIPPINES