House panel opposes penalizing schools

The House Committee on Higher and Technical Education panel has agreed to focus on positive provisions instead of penalizing private schools that adopt the “no permit, no exam” policy.

House Bill 1160, or “An Act Penalizing the Imposition of a “No Permit, No Exam” Policy or Any Such Policy That Prohibits Students From Taking Their Periodic or Final Examinations Due to Unpaid Tuition and Other School Fees,” authored by Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raoul Manuel, seeks to penalize private schools that prohibit its students with unpaid tuition from taking their midterm or final examinations.

However, during Monday’s hearing with the Commission on Higher Education, the panel and resource persons agreed to amend the measure and refrain from imposing sanctions on educational institutions.

Baguio Rep. Mark Go, the committee’s chairperson, agreed that students should be allowed to take exams despite their unpaid tuition.

However, he stressed that private schools should not also be penalized, given that they are not receiving any assistance from the government.

“Even if there is no pandemic, the ‘no exam, no permit policy’ should be abolished. That’s okay. But we need to help the private institutions, too. It’s not just one-sided,” Go said.

An owner of a private school, Batangas Rep. Maitet Collantes, explained how they had been imposing the policy.

“So, what we do, we give the exam to students but hold on to their credentials, hold on to their grades until they are able to pay,” she told the panel.

Meanwhile, Association of Local Colleges and Universities executive director Dr. Raymundo highlighted concerns about the bill’s Section 6 Paragraph B, which deems it unlawful to “require students to secure a permit to take the midterm or final examination.”

“We all belong to the same ecosystem.

I would want to believe that private institutions also must be allowed to require permits and clearances not — of course, we will still allow the students but we have to give the students that sense of accountability and responsibility and so with their parents be reminded that when their students go to a private school you know they also have the obligation to be conscious about the payables,” he pointed out.


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