Private schools seek gov't aid as enrollment dwindles

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2021 05:18 PM

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A group of private schools on Monday appealed for government aid as their student enrollments slumped. 

Enrollments to private schools this year is so far only 60 percent of 2020 figures, said Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (COCOPEA) Managing Director Joseph Noel Estrada. 

Last year's enrollment was already half of the pre-pandemic figure, he said. 

"Meron pong mga eskuwelahan na talagang nasa critical state na at problema po iyong paano sila makakapagpatuloy, given the very low turnout of enrollment," Estrada said. 

"Affected na rin po ‘yong kanilang mga school personnel, kanilang mga teachers dahil nakasalalay rin po ‘yan sa available resources ng eskuwelahan," he said in a televised public briefing. 

(There are critical schools that are now at the critical state and face problems on how they can continue, given the very low turnout of enrollment. Their school personnel, teachers are also affected because they depend on the available resources of the school.) 

While private schools have received aid under pandemic response law Bayanihan 2, they hope for another round of assistance given preparations for a possible limited return of face-to-face classes, Estrada said. 

"Again, we request and we pray for government intervention, economic intervention," he said. 

"Baka po meron tayong puwedeng maibigay na subsidiya diretso na po sa ating mga estudyante, diretso na po sa ating mga teachers para po makatulong din ito sa continuity of delivery of education."

(Perhaps there is a subsidy that can be given directly to our students, teachers to help in the continuity of delivery of education.) 

Government has approved a pilot run of face-to-face classes in 20 private schools and 100 public schools, the education department said on Monday. 

The COCOPEA has asked for a copy of guidlines from the agency and is willing to submit suggestions, said the group's head.

"Malaking bagay po ito (this is a big issue), so we support the concrete preparations for the reopening of our schools, ‘yong safe reopening of our schools," Estrada said.