Children with disabled parents should get tuition fee discounts, too

3 reasons why my husband and I advocate for this change

Alliah Czarielle avatar

by Alliah Czarielle |

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Last month, my husband, Jared, and I enrolled our daughter in a new school. She’ll start kindergarten in a few months, which marks the beginning of mandatory schooling here in the Philippines.

Although her current school is decent and she’s a beloved student there, we felt she might thrive more in a different setup and at a school closer to home. A neighboring Montessori school hit all these points.

At the new school, we had the standard chitchat with teachers and administrators about the Montessori curriculum, which focuses on real-world skills and experiential learning. Somehow we ended up discussing Jared’s cooking hobby and his unique skill of performing self-infusions to treat his severe hemophilia B, which he even offered to demonstrate in a science class if needed.

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As we were about to put down our initial deposit, we asked if there was a discount for children who have parents with disabilities. Unfortunately, this was a concept they’d never heard of before. It’s common for students with disabilities to receive tuition fee discounts, but kids with disabled parents do not get the same privilege.

Jared and I feel strongly that children with disabled parents deserve tuition fee discounts, too, for three main reasons:

1. Parents with disabilities have many financial obligations

Medicines and checkups cost money. This is especially true in a country like the Philippines, where public healthcare has limited coverage and is less accessible to those who choose nontraditional forms of earning like freelancing and small-time entrepreneurship. Many people with chronic illnesses opt out of traditional employment in favor of freelance work or running a small business due to the time flexibility it allows them.

However, freelancing has its pros and cons. Freelancers don’t have the benefits that large corporations offer their employees, such as healthcare coverage. As a result, we must pay for these expensive services out of pocket in the event of a medical emergency.

2. Education is one of the biggest expenses for parents

In the Philippines, private education is considered the gold standard, especially in early grades. However, it is naturally more expensive than the alternative, with average grade school tuition fees ranging from 30,000 to 100,000 Philippine pesos a year (about $515–$1,717). This could equate to several months’ earnings for a minimum-wage employee. If a typical single-income household opts to send just one child to a private school, this family could hardly afford to eat!

With education being one of the biggest expenses for parents, a tuition subsidy program for children of disabled parents would alleviate a huge burden. That way, parents could focus on their own needs as well as their children’s.

3. Many people with disabilities have kids

According to a survey by the National Research Center for Parents With Disabilities, in the U.S., 4.4 million parents with a disability care for at least one minor, a number that continues to increase. Their children have needs, too, including food, clothing, play, and education.

Here in the Philippines, statistics about disabled parents haven’t been explored as much. A simple Google search of “disabled parents in the Philippines” mostly returns results about children with disabilities instead. I find this disappointing. As two parents with disabilities who know many others like us, Jared and I find it infantilizing to assume that people with disabilities do not desire to have families or raise children.

Having a child is an incredibly rewarding experience. While some may choose differently for various reasons, those who do want kids would love to savor every moment of parenthood without the added burden of financial strain.

Implementing tuition fee discounts for children of parents with disabilities would be a significant step toward acknowledging and supporting the diverse needs of families. Jared and I wish to advocate for these changes to ensure a more inclusive and supportive society for everyone.

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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