MANILA — The College of the Holy Spirit of Manila (CHSM) announced Sunday it would cease operations after academic year 2021-2022, citing difficulties in enrollment which were worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Be it known that the College of Holy Spirit of Manila will voluntarily cease operations at the end of AY 2021-2022," the school said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
The statement did not mention the reason for the closure but in a letter addressed to members of the CHSM community last Oct. 28, Sr. Carmelita Victoria of the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit said the 107-year-old institution faced a number of challenges which made it difficult to attract new students in the past decade.
"Private education has faced an increasingly challenging environment resulting from (i) government policies on K-12; (ii) free tuition in state colleges and universities, local universities and colleges, and state-run technical and vocational institutions; and (iii) the significant increase in public school teachers' salaries compared to their private school counterparts," said Victoria, the provincial leader of the order that runs the school.
"The recent COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation. The reduction or loss in family income, mobility restrictions and social distancing requirements, and the new demands of distance learning have adversely affected enrolment, not only in CHSM, but in most private schools as well," Victoria said.
In its statement, CHSM said the timetable would allow the school "to graduate its current Grade 11 and 3rd Year College students."
"Therefore, Grade 12 and 4th Year College will be operational, but Levels K to Grade 11, and 1st to 3rd Year College will not be opened for AY (academic year) 2021-2022," the school said.
Other schools run by the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit will continue to operate because they are not affected by the decision on CHSM, it added.
CHSM, formerly known as the Holy Ghost College, is a Catholic co-ed institution founded in 1913.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted several schools across the country to shut down due to rising costs of operations and low enrollment turnout.
The Department of Education, for instance, reported in September that 865 private schools offering basic education gave notice that they would not open for school year 2020-2021.