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Virtual Education: NO to Differential Costs

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Virtual Education: NO to Differential Costs

Since a bill is being discussed in the Assembly of Panama that intends to force all private educational centers to offer discounts to students who receive virtual education, the business sector is opposed to this measure, as it is an attack against free enterprise.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The Assembly informed last January 21 that a bill was presented which aims to regulate the percentage of discounts in private schools and universities, if the teaching modality is virtual, blended and face-to-face.

The text of the law pretends that every school, college or private university must present to the guardians and students of legal age the tables of differentiated costs according to the modality of education.

You may be interested in "Study of University Career Preferences in Central America".

The initiative establishes that in the matter of contracts, private educational centers must clearly establish the differentiated discount for the virtual, semi-presential and face-to-face teaching modality.

For private educational institutions, schools or colleges with more than 1,100 students, a 35% discount will be applied. The same percentage applies to private universities with more than 400 students; the discount will be applied to the annual tuition as well as to the cost of each subject, explains Article 3 of the bill.
According to the Assembly's press release, for private schools the discount will be applicable to the total annual tuition. For private colleges or universities with fewer students, the discounts will be 25% and will be applicable in the same manner.

See "Colleges: which locations have the greatest potential?"

This proposal is already worrying Panamanian businessmen. Laestrella.com.pa reviews that the "... Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede) expressed its concern about the draft bill, since it 'jeopardizes the quality of education and goes against the principle of free enterprise'."

According to Apede, "... this type of legislative initiatives would undermine private education, which has contributed enormously to the development of the country and whose demand has grown over the years due to the deterioration of public education."

Also see "Schools: Which Locations Show Greatest Potential?"

The article adds that "... Moreover, the legislative proposal indicates that 'the administration costs of a private company are not the same as those generated by a distance education company', a subjective assertion that is not supported by verifiable figures, and that leaves aside several fundamental issues."

Source: laestrella.com.pa and Asamblea Nacional de Panamá



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