Youth groups urge schools to allow students with unpaid fees take exams

KABATAAN party-list and national youth organizations Friday demanded public and private elementary, secondary and tertiary schools, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commision on Higher Education (CHED) to strictly implement the ‘anti-no permit, no exam’ policy and allow students with pending arrears to take their examinations.

According to Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino of Kabataan, “In the throes of the school examination period  and the wave of price hikes including the unabated increase of tuition and other fees over the last ten years,  our schools and education agencies should ensure that students with pending arrears will be allowed to take their examinations.”

DepEd and CHED released early last year memo orders no.15 and no. 02, respectively, that urge schools to disband any prohibitive policy that disallows students to take their exams due to unpaid tuition and other fees.  Both education agencies confirm of the current validity of the memos.

Palatino said that his office has been receiving numerous complaints from parents and students which reveal that many schools do not comply with the existing ‘anti-no permit, no exam’ policy of  DepEd and CHED.

He said many students fail their subjects as school administrators deny them of taking their exams due to their inability to pay school fees on time.

Palatino furthered that he finds as “academically questionable the school measures which gauge the students’ intelligence based on their capacity to pay school fees before the set deadline. Why should a student get a failing mark just because he or she is not able to pay the skyrocketing fees on time? This crude practice in many schools smacks of corporate profiteering and is devoid of any nurturing quality that schools should ideally have in abundance.”

As complaints from parents and students escalate, Palatino scored the DepEd and CHED for “allowing schools to easily bypass their authority.” He added that the two agencies “fall short of their mandate to monitor and decisively penalize offending schools adamant in disallowing students with pending fees to take their exams.”

Palatino filed July last year House Bill no. 809 or the ‘Anti-no permit, no exam Act of 2010” which seeks to make into law a sharpened version of the DepEd and CHED memos. The bill includes penalties such as fines and school permit cancelation.

“We will definitely set a dialogue with DepEd and CHED and furnish them copies of the complaints we have gathered. We urge them to speedily act on the matter. We cannot allow our students to be prematurely hindered from finishing their studies because of expensive school fees and unjust exam policies,” Palatino said.

Palatino also said that youth groups are now preparing to file legal cases against offending schools and that massive education protests have already been set to take place next week.


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