CHED: Miscellaneous fees to cover flexible learning costs in private schools

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 05 2020 04:19 PM

MANILA — The Commission on Higher Education said Wednesday it would ask private colleges and universities to explain how existing miscellaneous fees would be used for costs associated with flexible learning.

This, amid concerns from parents and students on why some private higher education institutions (HEIs) continued to collect fees even when school facilities would not be used as in-person classes remain prohibited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Hindi talaga maintindihan ng magulang at mga anak ay kung bakit daw may lab fees, library fees, medical and dental fees," Sen. Imee Marcos said at a Senate hearing.

CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera said private universities sought permission from the commission to allow existing miscellaneous fees to be reclassified and used for costs related to flexible learning.

"What we have done in the commission is we have identified the costs associated with shifting to flexible learning," he said.

"We will now tell the private universities, 'In your discussion with the students and faculty, explain to them and inform them how the existing miscellaneous fees that are going to be collected will be used not for the original purpose but for adjustment to flexible learning,'" he said.

De Vera said the CHED regional offices were still evaluating the requests of private HEIs to raise tuition in the coming academic year.

Only 89 HEIs have applied for tuition increase, according to De Vera, noting that it was only 5 percent of the total number of private colleges and universities nationwide.

"Kaunti lang 'yong nag-apply kasi the private universities also know that students are hard-up, there [is] loss of jobs," he said.

(Only a few applied because private universities also know that students are hard-up, there [is] loss of jobs.)

In the coming school year, most higher education institutions would implement flexible learning, which involved the mixed use of online platforms, learning management systems, and take-home packets, among others.