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June woes to parents and children

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With the opening of classes this school year, an expected 28 million enrollees from all over the country have trooped to schools, the DepEd and CHEd pegging the breakdown as follows for both public and private schools:

Kinder: 1,931,550 enrollees in public schools; 470,000 in private. Elementary:14,250,896 in public; 1,221,000 for private schools.

High School: 5,849,003 in public;1,882,000 for private schools. ALS (Alternative Learning System): 205,000.

The dismal state of public schools in terms of insufficient number of classrooms, teachers, textbooks and other school facilities is likewise paralleled by the high increase in tuition and miscellaneous fees in private schools all over the Philippines.

As per Commission on Higher Education (CHED) memorandum 13, no ceiling rate on tuition increase in private schools was imposed.

For this school year, a 10.67 increase is posted according to DepEd data, higher than the 8.86% for SY 2010-2011 and 7.81% for SY 2009-2010. The average tuition increase varies per region based on the inflation rate.

On the tertiary (college) level, a lot of schools have increased their tuition fee for this school year. The CHED expects around 2.6 million college students in 1,792 in higher education institutions (HEIs) nationwide.

We must note though, that enrollment in 2010-2011 dropped to 2,635,007 compared to 2,770,985 enrollees in 2009-2010. If the CHEd keeps up with this trend, we can only expect more and more high school graduates who will not be able to avail of tertiary education, even for a semester.

In addition to this sad plight, the Aquino administration is keen on its K-12 or kindergarten + 12-year Basic Education Program, wholly seen by the majority as an added burden to the already impoverished condition of most Filipino families.

The high costs of education have already made it difficult for parents to send all of their children to school and with continued increases in tuition and fees every year plus increase in prices of commodities and school supplies, we have to oppose the additional two years of high school the DepEd and the Aquino government is hellbent in implementing.

Let us sound the call to all concerned sectors that much needs to be done to address the many issues and concerns hounding our educational system. Let us not waver in our commitment to the children and youth of this country and ensure that they will not be deprived of their right to an accessible and affordable education. Daghang salamat!

By Atty. Leah Alonsabe Librado




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