DepEd should lower tuition fees under “Blended and Distant Learning”-Alvarez

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DAVAO CITY — The Department of Education should ask all private and public schools in the country to lower tuition fees considering the implementation of the Blended and Distant Learning Program will curve operational expenses compared to regular face to face classes, said Davao del Norte First District Congressman Pantaleon D. Alvarez.

“With school classes set to resume in August, the DepEd confirmed that no face-to-face classes will be held. Rather, the curriculum shall be converted into a distance/blended learning program using online modular learning materials. This is a good move which, although it does not solve all the problems, is nonetheless a welcome step towards the right direction,” Alvarez in a statement said.

The shift to an online platform will, by necessity, also reduce the operating costs of schools resulting in decreased operating costs from power, water, internet, and other operating costs will decrease. “With this in mind, it is respectfully recommended that schools likewise reduce their tuition and fees,” he said.

The Filipino people, according to Alvarez have suffered due to the Coronavirus pandemic “Filipinos are suffering the unfortunate consequences of the public health crisis we presently face. The commensurate reduction of tuition and fees will likewise translate into an increase in the disposable income for the families”.

” It might not be enough, but even a little of it is of much help in this time of scarcity. The extra funds can supplement limited household budgets for more pressing expenses: food on the table, medicine in case of illness, and emergency funds for contingencies,” said Alvarez.

Further, he noted that “Families can also use the available funds for the purchase of internet services and equipment considering the inevitable fast-tracked shift to the digital platforms because of the pandemic. This way, we can hopefully help with the task of ensuring that no student will be left behind. Our students should not be left behind”.

“I, therefore, call upon the DepEd and private schools to consider this proposal. It is reasonable given the reduced operating costs of schools, hence, it is sensitive to the needs of families and students, and it is called for — given the crisis we face and the sudden need to quickly transition to the digital age,” Alvarez further explained.

Jocelyn Villarta, a mother of three children who will be enrolling in a private school supports the proposal of Alvarez, “Given the reduced operational costs, then schools especially the private ones must consider reducing the schools fees of their tuition fees, because students will no longer need the physical facilities like the laboratories and their library, so they save a lot in their electricity bill.”

Villarta said DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) should consider Alvarez’s proposal “If they truly understand the economic repercussions of the crisis and the slow economic recovery which has affected every family nowadays”.

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