Full, partial discount on misc. fees “requested”
The city council passed a resolution “requesting” all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the city to consider granting full or partial discount on miscellaneous fees that will not be used by the students for online learning.
Earlier, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) announced it will implement flexible learning arrangements for the next school year which will start in August.
Prospero De Vera III, CHEd Chairperson, believes that flexible learning is a more appropriate approach than face-to-face learning and pure online learning as it addresses the learners’ needs in terms of pace, place, process, and products of learning while community quarantine measures are still put in place.
CHED-CAR Representative Jimmy Catenas explained through teleconference during the city council’s regular session, June 15, that the universities and colleges should look into the quality of their technology and the digital capacity of students to determine which modality will best optimize learning.
According to Catanes, students and institutions with high-level technology, adequate devices to use, stable internet connectivity, and digital proficiency may opt for the online learning mode. Students and institutions with medium-level technology and slow internet connectivity may employ the micro-macro learning mode which is a mixture of the online and offline learning approaches . Students and institutions with little to no technology and poor to no internet connectivity may adopt the offline learning approach.
Catanes said some institutions have already done a survey to determine the factors that will dictate which approach or modality will be used in order to facilitate learning under the new normal.
The council resolution urges the HEIs to carefully study the possibility of granting full or partial discount to miscellaneous fees such as athletics fee, audio-visual fee, cultural fee, dental fee, medical fee, library fee, laboratory fee, and internet fee for online learning as such may not serve their intended purpose.
Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales, main proponent of the resolution, asserted the collection of such fees is “unfounded” under full online classes.
Catanes informed the council that their office will conduct consultations with concerned individuals and offices to address matters regarding the collection of tuition and miscellaneous fees.
The Commission has no existing guidelines yet dictating the grant of discounts on school fees, Catanes added.
“That is the prerogative of the institution. But I think it is possible,” Catanes said.
All HEIs in the city and the CHED-CAR will be furnished copies of the resolution for their consideration/appropriate action.**Jordan G. Habbiling