Private schools are having a hard time enrolling students for the academic year 2020/2021, according to data released by the Department of Education.
The latest figures show on week three, only 414,436 have enrolled in private schools countrywide. In the last academic year, around 4.3 million students were enrolled in private schools.
This drop will have a significant impact on school financial health, and multiple organizations have already raised alarm about a potential firing of private school staff to balance the books. This fear is now getting confirmed through various research data that show that there will be significant layoffs of staff in private schools.
Private schools in the Philippines going through a rough patch
Research conducted by the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (Cocopea), which interviewed 500 private schools found that about 80 percent of schools that took part in the survey indicated they were considering closing down by the end of August unless the government intervenes and help them.
The group’s managing director, Joseph Noel Estrada on Thursday said that these 400 private schools would not be able to operate beyond August if they are not supported by the government.
In a May Senate hearing, Cocopea estimated that over two million private school students in the country would transfer to public schools or dropout. This worrisome trend would also contribute to a lot of private schools in the country shutting down.
President Duterte has already indicated that the August 24 reopening for public schools and a much more flexible reopening of private schools, which can reopen early, will not involve face to face classes. The decision comes after a recent spike of coronavirus cases in the country.
The financial situation in a lot of households in the country has also been dire in the past few months due to the lockdown restrictions placed in the country. This has also contributed to parents opting for public schools, which are cheaper, further deepening crisis for private schools.
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