Refrain from collecting graduation fees, DepEd tells schools

In line with its vision to “put every school-aged child in school at no cost,” the Department of Education has renewed the call for public and private elementary and secondary schools to “refrain from collecting any graduation fees from students,” a press release from DepEd on Tuesday said.

DepEdEducation Secretary Armin Luistro reminded all education stakeholders, particularly the school heads and teachers of the more than 55,000 private and public schools under its supervision, to focus on ensuring quality education for all rather than holding lavish graduation ceremonies, which give additional financial burden to parents.

“The mandate of the department is to bring every school-aged child in school and not to discourage enrolment, specifically among the very poor, because of the unnecessary fees they need to shoulder during celebrations like graduation,” Luistro said.

Earlier, the department has instructed schools to hold simple graduation rites through DepEd Order No.4, series of 2011 highlighting its policy on the conduct and collection of fees for graduation rites.

DepEd has taken an aggressive position to put every school-aged child in school at no cost as part of its Education for All (EFA) commitment, a promise of 100 percent enrollment of all children and youth of school age by 2015.

The department also appeals to schools to refrain from holding graduation parties or balls that will require students to pay additional expenses unless agreed upon by the parents-teachers associations (PTAs); and collection must be on a voluntary basis.