MANILA — A lawmaker has called on the government to tap private schools to address the nation's classroom shortage.
"The DepEd is anticipating a tremendous shortage of classrooms given its projected enrolment. There is no way it could be solved even with their suggested remedies including; shifting of classes of up to 3 in a day and the use of temporary learning spaces," Kalinga Party List Rep. Irene Gay Saulog said in a privilege speech Tuesday.
"I stand to urge the executive department, particularly the DepEd, to consider the situation of the private schools. Not as an additional burden but as a possible solution to the problem of the ballooning number of learners in the public schools."
Saulog said many private schools have been forced to shut by the demands of remote learning delivery during the more than 2 years of community quarantine, "which can be revived in the return of in-person classes."
In 2020, nearly 1,000 private schools in the Philippines offering basic education were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"At the onset of the pandemic, there was a great migration from private to public schools," Saulog said. "Hence, there is a need to account whether the decline of enrollment in the private school is a result of migration from private to public or is it the result because of the number of learners who have been forced to stop or leave the school due to the impact of pandemic to employment and livelihood of their respective families."