'Dapat may discount': Lawmaker backs lower school fees under coronavirus pandemic


Posted at May 28 2020 11:23 AM | Updated as of May 28 2020 11:42 AM

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MANILA - A lawmaker on Thursday backed lower school fees after some private schools announced the start of enrollment on June 1 amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ang Probinsyano Rep. Ronnie Ong said some schools announced the upcoming school enrollment after Malacanang reiterated that the school year will open on August 24 but will use blended learning or tapping the internet, radio and television to teach students.

"In reality, dapat talaga may discount. Probably 10 to 20 percent pero right now everyone is waiting for direction from DepEd on what to do and of course [Commission on Higher Education. That’s why ang ginagawa ng mga private schools now they are jumping the gun, they are asking for enrollment fees,” he said in an interview with ANC's Headstart. 

Ong said the push for more online learning due to the coronavirus pandemic could pose a challenge for some students. 

“Are we going to ask the parents to invest in new gadgets, new cellphones? Even if they do, may internet ba sa area nila? May data ba? Minsan nga marami pang area na walang kuryente paano natin gagawin yan?” he asked.

The lawmaker said DepEd should consider postponing school year 2020-2021 to protect students as government continues to battle the coronavirus. 

DepEd can make use of the time to create modules which they could send out to students in public schools and re-tool teachers, he said.

“For them to study at home and review, and at the same time, give subsidy to the public school teachers,” he said.

Private schools can do the same and also conduct online classes, he said. 

“Para 'yung mga teachers, kahit papaano meron pa rin silang sweldo, and for the students, they can still have mental exercises. For now, what we can do para 'yung mga teachers sa private schools they will continue to have livelihood, pwede nating gawing non-credit courses,” he said.

Ong hopes to gather education stakeholders, including health experts, in a hearing before Congress goes on break on June 3.