CEBU CITY, Philippines - The spiraling cost of private school education continues after 70 out of 191 high schools and 34 out of 526 elementary schools in Cebu are expected to increase their tuition starting this school year.
According to the report of the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd-7), at least 24 secondary schools in Cebu City and 29 in Cebu province sought for a tuition increase.
Two secondary schools in Danao City, four in Lapu Lapu City, three in Mandaue, five in Talisay, and three schools in Toledo City also asked for an increase.
Josefina Samson, DepEd-7's assistance chief of the secondary division, prepared the tuition-increase report and submitted it to DepEd Regional Chief Recaredo Borgonia.
The secondary school tuition increases range from 10 percent to 40 percent.
The increases followed the colleges and universities recent announcements of increasing their tuition this school year.
The Blessed Mother School, Inc. in Talisay, Sta. Fe, Cebu, asked for a 40-percent increase. The school said it had not raised tuition since 2006.
Immaculate Concepcion Institute of Tudela in Tudela, Camotes, Cebu will increase tuition by 34.9 percent, Regent Pacific College of Barangay Agus, Lapu-Lapu City and University of the Visayas , Minglanilla, Cebu sought for a 20 percent increase in tuition and other school fees.
Most private high schools in Cebu asked for at least a 10 percent raise in tuition. Gabriel Jurado Foundation School Inc. in Catmon, Cebu sought the lowest increase at only 3.3 percent increase.
The partial report of DepEd-7's Elementary Education Division chief Carmencita Denampo of schools raising their tuition showed that Carcar Christian School Inc. of Carcar City increased tuition by 28 percent; Cebu Cherish School and Immaculate heart of Mary Academy in Minglanilla, Cebu to implement a 15-percent increase and Araneta Learning Center in Medellin, Cebu, with 14 percent.
Ibale Center for Academe Inc. is the lowest approved increase with only 3-percent of their tuition while the average approved increase of the 34 private elementary schools in Cebu city and Cebu province is 9.67 percent
Borgonia told that in Central Visayas there are 96 out of 298 private high schools and 52 out of 668 private elementary schools that will increase its tuition this school year.
He said that the Dep-Ed will most likely approve any proposed increase of tuition because they usually confirm it as long as the schools comply with all the requirements such as conducting consultations with the students and parents, PTCA officials, and the school administration, proposed expenses for the projected increase and other school records.
But Borgonia said the school should also follow the guidelines that 70 percent of the increase will go to the payment for the salary increase of the teachers and 30 percent for the upgrading of school facilitiies.
?Gikasabutan man na sa parents, students ug sa school. Ila mang kabubut-on sa parents nga dunay increase. Ang parents sab ang napili sa private gipaeskuela ang ilang anak (That was agreed by the parents, students and the school. The increase was agreed upon and the parents also have the choice what school they will send their children),? Borgonia said.
Borgonia advised the parents that if they found the increase impose from the private schools as too steep for their budget, then their children are very welcome to transfer to the public schools which has no tuition.
According to Borgonia, the quality of education in public schools now are very competitive and some are better than that the private schools because of the strong support of the government.
?Di man gyud mabentahaan ang atong public school kay maayo man og kalidad atong mga teachers gihashasan pag-ayo. Gusto gani mamalhin ang mga private teacher sa public,? Borgonia noted.
He admitted that because of the very large population in the public schools, there students who could not catch up the teaching especially if not attentive to the discussion of the teacher.
?Di na kalikayan dunay daghang maayo, dunay daghan sab nga badlungon nga estudyante but overall maayo gyud ang edukasyon sa public school karon,? He added.
Jose ?Dodong? Gullas, president of the University of the Visayas told Cebu Daily News that their increase in all level is one of the lowest in Cebu because the school administration is considering the increase of the prices of the commodities especially the gasoline.
UV also has a secondary school as well as a tertiary school.
?I have to balance in handling the university. We have to consider our students. Many of our students, I have to be very frank and candid about it belong to average and below average,? Gullas said.
? Take note that today they are trying , challenging hard time today. Food scarcity, gasolina, tanan, i have to consider all this things,? He added.
Gullas explained that the increase is not for their profit but for the increase of the salary of the faculty members and their facilities.
As expected parents sending children to private schools could only complain about the tuition hikes.
Carmelito Tan, 48, of Barangay Pahina-San Nicolas, Cebu City said that he is worried with the increases because he has three children he is sending to school.
Two of them are in high school while the another one is in college.
Tan, who is in the real estate business, said that with the tuition increases he had to redouble his effort to have money to send his children to school.
?Paningkamot na gyud pag-ayo sa akong real estate business kay daghan kaayo ko og paeskuelahon,? Tan said.
Tan said he had no intention to transfer his children in high school to public schools because of the lack of facilities in those schools.
?I would sometimes ask where are some public school teachers sending their children to school -- in private schools,? Tan said in Cebuano.
Montano Soreno Jr, 38, a hardware salesman of Tres de Abril Street, Cebu City said despite the increases he still won't transfer his son to public schools.
He said he would have to double his efforts to have money to pay for his son's tuition, books and other fees worth P20,000.
?I'll just have to double my efforts and work day and night. Unless I could not take it anymore, then I'll be forced to transfer him,? Sorono said in Cebuano.