The Ministry of Education Refuses to Authorize Tuition Increases at Schools that Have Not Properly Justified the Hikes
The Ministry of Education (MINERD in Spanish) is not accepting applications for tuition increases for the 2011-2012 academic year in private schools that have not handed in the required documentation with proper justification that is not in keeping with the Special Resolution of the National Council on Education of July 6, 2011.
After learning about the report concerning school fees hikes presented by the Board of Private Educational Institutions (DIEP in Spanish), the MINERD, in one of its resolutions, recognized the increases requested by 166 schools that supported their decisions with the required documentation, …
After learning about the report concerning school fees hikes presented by the Board of Private Educational Institutions (DIEP in Spanish), the MINERD, in one of its resolutions, recognized the increases requested by 166 schools that supported their decisions with the required documentation, particularly the letter signed by the Board of the Parents Association and the existence of the new investment which was duly analyzed by a team of auditors, as required by the law.
According to the DIEP report, of the 1,675 MINERD registered, recognized and accredited schools throughout the whole country, 884 (52.77%) have not sent in supporting documentation while 791 (47.22 %) have fulfilled the requirements. Of these 791 schools, 625, or equivalent to 79.01%, have not increased their school fees for the 2011-2012 academic year. The remaining 166 (20.9%) have raised their tuition rates.
Of the 166 schools that have raised their fees for the upcoming school year, 132 (79.5%) increased their rates between 1 and 500 pesos; 18 (10.8%) between 501 and 1,000 pesos; 7 (4.22%) between 1001 and 1500 pesos and 9 (5.42%) from 1,501 or more.
According to the report, the largest proportion of schools that increased their tuition are concentrated in Regional District 15 of Santo Domingo with 54, or 32.5% of the 166 that increased their rates; Regional 6 of La Vega with 42 (25.3%) and Regional District 11 of Puerto Plata, with 29 (17.4%). The remaining 41 private schools which represents 24.6%, corresponds to the rest of the regions.
The largest number of increases corresponded to the Elementary level followed by Basic then Middle School, respectively.
Of the 625 schools that have not raised their rates, the largest proportion is concentrated in Regional District 4 of San Cristobal, with 283 schools (47.16%); Regional 7 of San Francisco de Macorís, with 66 (10.5%); Regional 03 of Azua, with 46 (7.36%); Regional 11 of Puerto Plata with 43 (6.88%) and Regional 17 of Monte Plata with 30 schools (4.8%). The remaining 157 schools (25.1%) corresponded to the rest of the regional school districts.
The schools justified these increases by citing their investments and basic spending costs, social security payments, cost of living increases and inflation, purchase of new equipment, repair of existing equipment, expanding and maintaining of school grounds, etc.
The Ministry of Education said that private schools in the process of recognition or accreditation which have not sent their required documentation in a timely fashion, must maintain their same tuition status throughout the present academic year.
The school districts, under instructions from MINERD, will carry out on-site inspections of private schools that have not handed in their information about rate increases in a timely fashion and, on a case-by-case basis, the Ministry will determine what action shall be taken, in keeping with established norms.
MINERD added that, in the case where a parent complains about the increase in fees, the Parent’s Association must put the complaint in writing and present it to DIEP which will coordinate with the Pro-Consumers Board to jointly seek pertinent actions to find a satisfactory solution.
In keeping with Resolution 554-2011 of July 23, 2011, passed and put into effect with instructions to begin the work on the Revision Commission of Law 86-00, in accordance with the decision taken by the National Education Council (CNE in Spanish), through Special Resolution in its extraordinary session of July 16, 2011. The Commission will be made up of representatives of the Parents Association, Mothers and Friends of the School (APMAES in Spanish) in the CNE, of Private Schools, Catholic Schools, Catholic Colleges of EDUCA, two deputy ministers, the Director of Early and Basic Education and the judicial consultative board of MINERD.
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