Kabataan files resolution for no frills grad rites

AS parents and students begin to anticipate the nearing graduation ceremonies, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino today filed House Resolution no. 995 urging the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to strictly implement the policy of simple graduation rites and the non-collection of exorbitant graduation fees.

Palatino said that “schools should not add burden to our parents and students by requiring them to pay for frivolous items and expenses. They have gone through a lot of financial difficulty because of the expensive cost of education in the country. Schools should not further hassle them by keeping graduation ceremonies simple yet meaningful.”

DepEd recently reminded school heads and teachers to desist from collecting graduation fees. CHED, on the other hand, has yet to release a similar pronouncement.

Palatino said that students and parents have been complaining to his office about schools which charge fees for non-academic graduation requirements like yearbooks, parties, photographs, rings, and other memorabilia.

He furthered that many schools even make these fees prerequisites for students to be get a clearance for them to graduate.

“Paying for non-academic expenses should not be used as basis for a student’s clearance. That practice is detrimental to poor parents and students who are already hard up in producing money for far more important expenses,” Palatino said.

Palatino, however, clarified that in cases where it is the parents and students who intend to organize parties and purchase memorabilia, it should only “be voluntary which means others who may find it financially burdensome should not be forced to join as a graduation requirement.”

Palatino also urged parents and students to report any unjust graduation-related practices in schools through the Kabataan help desk (www.kabataanpartylist.com) and Kabataan hotline (352-10-42).

“The complaints we receive from parents and students serve as concrete evidences of school malpractices  which we shall forward to DepEd and CHED. That way, our education agencies won’t have any further excuse for not being able to monitor and act on unjust graduation practices,” Palatino said.

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