Editorial: Keep ‘em in school

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

PARENTS calling to protest the tuition increases of private schools this June were quoted the Bible.

“You reap what you sow,” said Dr. MarcialDegamo. According to Justin K. Vestil’s May 16 report in Sun.Star Cebu, the chief of the Department of Education (DepEd) 7 Quality Assurance and Accountability Division reminded parents that educating their children is investing in their future.

For school year 2014-15, 196 academic institutions in Central Visayas were permitted to implement an average tuition increase of seven to eight percent. TheDepEd is reviewing and may approve the applications of more schools, from preschool to high school.


For those who cannot afford private schools, Degamo recommended transferring their children to public schools.

Sum of all fears

The public’s perception of the state of public education renders the option to transfer less than desirable.

Crowded classrooms, decrepit facilities, overworked and underpaid mentors and a public school culture that avoids a religious, often regarded as a moral, slant make private school students and their parents jittery about taking the leap from private to public.

Going public is viewed as being adrift from the moorings of bourgeois stability.

Lacking the edge of a private education, a student fears being locked out from the right college and the lifetime of security promised by forging the right connections, carving the right career, and setting for the right path towards bourgeois respectability.

If that were the only goal of education, then—yes—plant what you intend to reap. Or, to paraphrase the views of the bible-quoting DepEd official, buy the most expensive education you can afford for your children. And then wait for them to bring you and your family the returns of your investment.

Serves society right for allowing only the richest and the fittest to survive the multiple-obstacle course involved in getting an education in this country.


As regular as schools opening every year, tuition and other fees shoot up, to the chagrin of students and their families.

Degamo said that this year’s increases were granted to give pay hikes for teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as improve facilities. Shouldn’t a private learning institution shoulder these costs, which are integral to its commercial operations, by dipping into its own coffers, instead of passing the buck every year to the public?

If DepEd regards education as a family’s investment, shouldn’t it require schools to show evidence that they counterpart, too, by ensuring that well-compensated mentors and state-of-the-art facilities directly contribute to better academic performance, more community outreach and other civic contributions?

The best private schools do very good business. If they truly share the stake in letting education lead in improving society, it wouldn’t hurt too much their profit margins if these private schools were to offer more scholarships or subsidies to students that are not just conventionally gifted or in need but also possessing one or a combination of the seven intelligences.

Thus, a student gifted with musical intelligence can join the school choir and receive financial assistance from the school as a music scholar. Similar opportunities can be opened through sports scholarships for students with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, etc.

Private schools should be required by the DepEd to show that they pursue a program of corporate citizenship, such as adopting a nearby public school for regular feeding sessions, faculty-staff-student interactions or supplementary or bridge training sessions.

At present, the DepEd only requires, for instance, a private school to show it conducted consultations about proposed increases for the agency to approve the school’s application for fee hikes.

Simply holding a consultation can hardly be considered as a private school’s most telling manifestation of public stewardship. To consult is not always the same as to listen, as Filipino families and students learn with every controversial school opening.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 19, 2014.


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