Catholic schools justify high tuition

Published by rudy Date posted on May 21, 2011
A GROUP of Roman Catholic schools on Friday defended its move to increase tuition for the coming school year as it admitted that rates its members offer are comparatively “higher” than those of state universities and colleges in the country.
Fr. Gregg Bañaga, the president of the Catholic Educators Association of the Philipipnes (CEAP), said that a tuition hike was necessary in providing for better compensations for professors, school staff and administrators in Catholic schools.
“We have to do justice to our professors and to our staff and administrators in Catholic schools,” he explained during an interview over the Catholic Church-run Radio Veritas.
The Commission on Higher Education recently approved petitions of some 281 colleges for tuition increases.
Some of these schools—all CEAP members—include the Ateneo de Manila University, the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Miriam College and Assumption College (5-percent tuition increase); the University of Santo Tomas (3.75 percent) ; and De La Salle University (3.5 percent).
The Department of Education (DepEd) announced that 168 private elementary and secondary schools in the National Capital Region (Metro Manila or Region XIII) are set to increase their tuition when classes formally open on June 6.
Of the 168 schools, 67 are elementary schools and 101 are secondary schools.
Fifty-seven of these schools said that they would implement tuition hikes from 6 to 10 percent; 34 of these, from 1 to 5 percent; and seven, from 11 to 15 percent.
The Education department said that the schools cited the need to pay salaries, allowances and benefits of their employees and to improve school facilities as reasons for their call to raise tuition.
According to Banaga, Catholic schools with high tuition rates are only a small portion of the total number of Church-run schools in the Philippines.
“The tuition may be high, but if you look at the amount we spend in educating a Filipino child, it is even less than what the state spends in a public school,” the CEAP president said.
“That’s why we are still more efficient,” he added.
The CEAP president noted that not all Catholic schools charge high tuition.
“If you go to the mission schools in rural areas, we have a lot of these Catholic schools that are struggling even to survive,” Bañaga said.
But school administrators, he added, are doing everything “even without just compensation for what they are doing.”
CEAP groups 1,194 members, including 30 universities, 101 graduate schools, 240 colleges, 1,070, high schools, 592 elementary schools and 596 pre-elementary schools. –Maria Nikka U. Garriga, Reporter with report from Rommel C. Lontayao, Manila Times

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