The Department of Education (DepEd) hopes that the temporary suspension of nearly 700 private schools nationwide from their operations this school year will be temporary.
According to DepEd Usec. Jesus Mateo, 676 private schools have already told them that they will not open this year due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
“Temporary lang ang closures nila pero kung maganda-ganda na next year, magbubukas na po sila,”Mateo said.
On the part of Education Secretary Leonor Briones, low enrollment turnout and the transfer of teachers to public schools are some of the main reasons why some schools decided to close first.
“Wala pang COVID, wala pang downturn ng economy, nagma-migrate na ang private school teachers dahil ‘di mahabol ng mga maliliit na private schools ang compensation at benefits ng mga nasa public schools,”said Briones.
Briones, on the other hand, expressed her hope that such educational institutions will consider their decision because the economic trend is said to be stimulating.
At the same time, the department also appealed to local government units to help private schools in their area that are having difficulty operating due to the pandemic.
According to agency data, the temporary closure of schools will affect more than 40,00 students and more than 3,000 teachers.
On the side of private school groups, Atty. Joseph Noel Estrada of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations hopes that enrollment in private institutions will improve once the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or also known as Bayanihan 2 is signed.
Under the bill, there is an allowance reserved for qualified students including unemployed teachers and non-teaching personnel.
According to Malacanang, it is possible that President Rodrigo Duterte will sign Bayanihan 2 next week.