The No-Collection Policy of DepEd aims to provide every Filipino learners with free basic education in public elementary and secondary schools.
It also aims encourage more parents to bring their children to school and to achieve the government's target of universal primary education. The Department of Education is geared towards minimizing, if not eliminating, financial constraints among parents/guardians during opening of classes.
What does this no-collection policy really means? Does it mean the school isn't allowed to collect anything? Can schools withhold the release of clearances if a student has not paid the fees?
No-Collection Policy in Public Schools
The Department of Education released the guidelines for the no-collection policy in public schools through DO No. 41, s. 2012. What are the fees that schools are allowed to collect?
No fees shall be collected from school children in kindergarten up to Grade 4 anytime during school year 2012-2013;
No fees shall be collection from Grade 5 pupils up to High School students from June to July 2012. However, starting August 2012 until the end of this School Year, the following may be collected only on a voluntary basis:
- Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts membership fees of P50 per learner;
- Philippine National Red Cross, P35 per learner;
- Anti-TB fund drive of P5 per learner;
- Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) fee must be reasonable and is to be determined during the PTA general assembly;
- School publication fee of P60 for every elementary pupils and P90 for every high school student;
- Membership in pupil/student organizations, fee must be based on existing school policies.
PTAs should refrain from setting exorbitant amounts for voluntary school contributions for graduation ceremonies, extracurricular activities as well as minimize requests for in-kind contributions.
The order also stipulates no teacher, school officials, and personnel shall collect fees/contributions nor shall they be entrusted with the safekeeping and disbursement of collections made by the PTA pursuant to the Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers.
Can the school force a student to pay the fees? No. The guidelines set forth by the DepEd clearly states that these all fees are voluntary.
Can the non-payment of these fees be a basis for non-admission, non-promotion or non-issuance of clearance to a student? No. In no case shall non-payment of voluntary school contributions or membership fees be made a basis for non-admission, non-promotion, or non-issuance of clearance to a student. And that includes withholding of school cards.
What are the sanctions for PTAs and schools violating this order? PTAs, which violate the guidelines, will lose their recognition. Appropriate charges will be filed against school personnel who will be found violating the provisions of the order.
On Uniforms and IDs
The wearing of uniform shall not be required in public schools. Students with existing uniforms may continue using these uniforms, if they so desire, in order to avoid incurring additional costs for new attire.
ID cards shall be provided to students at no cost on their part. The school head/principal shall fund these ID cards from its Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE).
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