Lapus: no forced collections allowed
Education Secretary Jesli Lapus today emphasized that publicelementary and secondary schools are not allowed to force students topay school fees as a prerequisite to enrollment.
"Every child has the right to free education," Lapus said. "Ourchildren should never be stopped from going to school simply becausethey cannot pay these voluntary contributions."
Lapus pointed out that the Department of Education (DepEd) prohibitspublic schools from requiring payment of contributions beforeadmission. Citing DepEd Order 20 (series 2006), Lapus said that publicschool students should be enrolled without being compelled to paythese fees. Contributions, whether for student activities or forupgrading of school facilities, can only be collected from students ona voluntary basis.
Lapus also pointed out that the authorized fees are for Boy Scouts,Girl Scouts, Red Cross and the Anti-TB campaign. Where applicable,schools are also allowed to collect contributions for their schoolpapers and for DepEd recognized student organizations. Thesecontributions should be collected by the school's PTA/PTCAs.
Reiterating DepEd Order 20, the education secretary called on schoolheads to post an announcement at the entrance of their respectiveschools which states that "Enrollment does not require the payment ofany contributions/fees and all contributions/fees being collected arenot prerequisites for enrollment and are voluntary in nature."
"I call on our school officials and PTCAs to help us in this crusadeto ensure access to basic education is provided for all Filipinochildren," Lapus said. "Let's all work together to make our dream ofEducation For All Filipinos a reality."