DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 May) – The Department of Education declared through a memorandum that all payable Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) dues from the previous school year were expired and no longer collectible.
DepEd regional director Alberto Escobarte told reporters Monday that the agency noticed that PTAs in the region collected from the parents and at times prevented students from enrolling during the start of each school year.
Jenelito Atillo, DepEd regional spokesperson, added that Region XI was the first region to implement the memorandum. “We are removing all obstacles and deterrents to enrollment,” he said.
Escobarte said that all dues from associations like the PTA should be voluntary.
“If we allow the collection of fees from the previous year every year, the voluntary contribution would be converted into debt,” he said.
According to the official, all collections from PTAs should begin in August, after each association is reorganized into each respective federation within the schools here.
The department also released answers to a series of frequently asked questions during its inter-agency convergence meeting held at the regional office’s Policy Planning and Research Division along F. Torres St.
Among these were the prohibition of collections and expenditures for the following items: school uniforms, mandatory donations during enrolment, photocopying fees, and school IDs.
Schools are also prohibited from collecting a certain amount for the physical improvement of each classroom, as well as putting up a desk within the property that would collect fees in the previous years.
The FAQ sheet added teachers may not require students to undertake school projects that were expensive, as well as require them to pay for internet connection.
School heads have also been mandated to post a transparency board within school grounds.