Knowledge helps people become more productive members of society and equips them with the building blocks for development. Without a solid base of knowledge derived from education, there would be very little innovation and productivity to spur the growth of our economy. This makes education one of society’s most critical responsibilities.
The Internet age
Despite our having many alternative means to education today, it does not follow that schools are no longer needed. While technology is readily accessible, and people can teach themselves how to use it, Philippine society as a whole remains immensely supportive of schools and teachers. Formal education is seen by many as a way out of poverty for their children and oftentimes, by extension, themselves.
Older generations have benefited from a traditional education — many hold formal degrees and have good jobs. So, while the educational milieu has certainly changed a lot in the last 50 years, education in general and schools in particular remain just as important as ever.
While the 1987 Constitution recognizes the duty of the State to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education, in a society where there is much social and economic deprivation there is still a need for legislation that supports better access to education for all. This is evident in the bills filed by several legislators, all of which seek to ban the ‘no permit, no exam’ policy in schools.
In January 2010, the CHED ordered higher education institutions to “extend utmost flexibility” with regards to the “no permit, no exam” policy. However, it has not categorically stopped schools from practicing it.
Many underprivileged but deserving students drop out of school because they are unable to access scholarship grants and other student loan programs that will enable them to pursue higher education. Even students from middle-income or relatively well-off families may sometimes face financial setbacks that can lead to delays in tuition payments.
DepED Order No. 15 S. 2010 states that all schools should allow students to take their exams and settle their unpaid bills later. Senate Bill No. 907 proposes further to penalize public and private higher education institutions, high schools, and technical-vocational schools that implement a “no permit, no exam” policy. The bill also seeks to prohibit schools from giving students with unpaid fees a different exam schedule, or requiring them to secure a special permit before they are allowed to take examinations.
Disallowing students from taking their examinations over non-payment of tuition and other school fees is seen as a violation of the right to education. The bill does also state, however, that students are obligated to settle their unpaid school fees with an interest rate of five percent per annum. Outstanding accounts must be duly settled with the school administration.
Schools would retain rights over the release of grades, clearance, and the admission or enrollment of affected students. Those that violate the proposed law will be fined P50,000 to P100,000.
It cannot be denied, however, that private schools depend on tuition for operations. They do not receive government appropriations and, without prompt tuition payments, many could close.
Making it illegal for schools to compel prompt tuition payments could work to the detriment of our educational institutions: It could cost us the quality of our education and the competency of our graduates.
Learn more about the nuances of the “No permit, no exam” policy with the latest information shared by experts at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law. Call (+632) 478 5826 or email for inquiries.