PGMA invalidates no-payment, no periodic exam rules in state universities, colleges

May 2, 2009 10:46 am 

MANILA, May 1 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has rescinded the no-payment, no periodic examination policy in state universities and colleges and expanded the coverage of the Students’ Assistance Fund for Education (SAFE).

In signing Executive Order (EO) No. 792, President Arroyo said “in today’s global economy, knowledge is the greatest creator of wealth” and thus “the government must pour all savings and revenue into programs that help the poor and the middle class.

Mrs. Arroyo said two concerns had been brought to her administration, namely: the rigid tuition fee payment rules of state universities and colleges (SUCs) and the clamor to expand the coverage of the SAFE.

She said the policy was one of the main reasons students from poor families dropped out from SUCs. “This has to change to ensure a decent graduation rate from SUC enrolees,” she said, adding that the “rigid tuition fee payment rules cannot be allowed to sabotage the great educational agenda of the administration.

The President said the benefit of the SAFE should receive the fullest endowment. “The most inspiring stories of the Filipinos as a people are the great story of meritocracy; and driving, fueling and enabling those great success stories is one constant — education,” she added.

It’s the policy of the State to protect, foster and promote the right of all citizens to affordable quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to ensure that education shall be accessible to all.

The President ordered the Commission on Higher Education to instruct all SUCs to devise a flexible socially-sensitive tuition fee payment plan and reform the current non-payment, no periodic examination policy.

She also directed the administrators of the Students’ Assistance Fund for Education to expand the coverage of the program.

On top of tuition, beneficiaries of the program should receive additional benefits, which include the monthly stipend to subsidize the students’ transport fares, and the laboratory, research and book allowance. (PNA)



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