Partial discount on miscellaneous fees by Baguio colleges proposed

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, requested all higher education institutions (HEIs) in the city to consider granting full or partial discount of miscellaneous fees not be entirely used up by the students for their online classes.

Under Resolution No. 361, series of 2020, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong on June 22, 2020, city legislators pointed out that online classes mean virtual engagement, thus, the collection of some miscellaneous fees such as athletic fee, audio-visual fee, cultural fee, dental fee, medical fee, library fee, laboratory fee, and internet fee, should be carefully studied by the HEIs whether or not to grant full or partial discounts as these particular miscellaneous school services are practically not needed or cannot benefit students undergoing online classes.

The council stated it is understood that all school administrators are ensuring the survival of their respective HEIs, and for them to continue supporting all of its teaching and non-teaching personnel, but the collection of miscellaneous fees that are impossible and unfeasible to be used by the students for their online classes causes a greater obstacle to families who are financially depressed because of the heavy impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to the employment and livelihood.

Further, the council argued that as all educational and learning institutions in the country are migrating to online classes, if not all, most of their miscellaneous fees will no longer be utilized by their students during the semester because it is unfeasible to physically report to class and attend face-to-face classes.

According to city legislators, majority of the students and their parents are currently facing financial constraints and the payment of their bills and other liabilities becomes a greater challenge, more so the payment of school fees for the continuing education of the youth, especially that the employment and livelihood of the people had been heavily impacted by the implementation of the community quarantine.

The council claimed the implementation of an online class, or other flexible learning modalities, by the Commission on Higher Education to HEIs is now confronted with varying issues and concerns of students which should be effectively and efficiently addressed by the Commission, such as, but not limited to, the inclusivity of the new normal in the Philippine education and the issue on internet connectivity.

Further, the council reminds that education in the Philippines is a right of every Filipino youth and not a privilege, that access to education and the education system itself must always be inclusive, regardless of status in life.

The council stipulated that time and again, it has been constantly emphasized that education is the best inheritance that parents and guardians could give their children because it cannot be easily taken away, and the same could be used to lift the status of life of their families once appropriately used by the individual who acquired a higher level of education regardless of the institution where they completed their studies.

By Dexter A. See

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