676 private schools closing? DepEd urged to shed light on reported school closures
The Department of Education should provide more details on its report that almost 700 private schools have closed due to the coronavirus pandemic to avoid worry among parents and students, a group said Thursday.
The DepEd should clarify the source of its update that 676 of around 14,000 private schools will not open this year, and should name these, said Joseph Noel Estrada managing director of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA).
"It is the right of the public to know and it also gives them (DepEd) the responsibility to be precise in the information that they list," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo. "Kasi kung mag-release lang tayo nang ganyan, it will create a scare or speculations. Baka naman hindi lahat iyan ay siguradong magsasara."
(If we will release information like that, it will create a scare or speculations. Perhaps not all of these schools will surely close.)
DepEd may have gotten the data from its survey for schools, said Eleazardo Kasilag, president of the Federation of Associations of Private School Administrators (FAPSA).
He did not agree with Estrada's call for the agency to name the schools that will not operate this year.
"Iyong mga eskuwelahan, we survive also on impression. Baka ‘pag nalaman ng aming mga parents, estudyante iyong ganoon, ang impression d’yan e baka hindi masyadong stable.. Baka makababa ng enrollment," he reasoned.
(Schools also survive on impression. If the parents, students learn that, the impression may be that the school is not that stable. The enrollment for next year may go down.)
Schools that close due to the pandemic will need to re-apply for permits, said Estrada.
"Medyo hindi lang din acceptable iyon, even in a calamity, a pandemic na problema, you will still be penalized," he said. "Kung totoo na magsasara, hindi naman nila kagustuhan iyon… Sana ‘wag na silang i-penalize dahil doon."
(That is not really acceptable--that even in a calamity, a pandemic, you will still be penalized. If it is true that they will close, that was not their desire. They should not be penalized because of that.)
TeleRadyo, Sept. 10, 2020