A GROUP of teachers has pushed for the swift passage of bills prohibiting the “no permit, no exam policy” in public and private schools.

The Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (CoTeSCUP) said the policy was “inhumane and immoral.”

“Learning should never be held hostage,” CoTeSCUP said in a statement on April 17.

“The mental and emotional effects of students’ inability to take their exams without a permit cannot be understated. We firmly believe that students, especially children, should not be exposed to ridicule and public shame. As educators, we in CoTeSCUP cannot agree to be accomplices to such an immoral act,” the group added.

The CoTeSCUP commended the passage of Senate Bill 1359 on its third and final reading and House Bill 7584 on its second reading, both on March 21. Both are titled “No Permit, No Exam Prohibition Act.”

“All said, the state has the paramount duty to ensure that equal access to education is available to all willing and able citizens, regardless of economic background,” CoTeSCUP said.

The group also urged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to sign the bill into law immediately.

Earlier, the Coordinating Council of Private Education Associations of the Philippines (Cocopea) said allowing students with unpaid tuition to take their examinations would remove any compulsion to pay fees that schools need for continued operations.

They said the bills would impose “prohibitive provisions” on educational institutions.

“[These] will seriously affect the timely collection of tuition and other financial obligations direly needed to support the thousands of teachers and personnel as well as other school-dependent stakeholders of private educational institutions,” the Cocopea said in a statement on April 3.

“If the law deprives them of reasonable collection of tuition, our private educational institutions would crumble, and ultimately the entire Philippine education system,” it added.

The CoTeSCUP said Senate Bill 1359 and House Bill 7584 had enough security provisions for schools.

“Indeed, letting students take their exams without permits will not cause private schools to go bankrupt, as proven in the past,” the CoTeSCUP said.

Among the signatories of the CoTeSCUP statement were lead convenor Assoc. Prof. Rene Tadle, former vice president of the UST Faculty Union (USTFU), and USTFU President Emerito Gonzales.


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