Private schools seek financial assistance over COVID-19 crisis

A group of private schools in the Philippines is pleading for financial support from the government amid the pandemic.

Pandemic hits private schools’ finances

COCOPEA,  an association of Private educational institutions in the Philippines is pleading for financial support from the government, to save the existence of some of its members, especially those from the small scale sector.

The spokesperson for COCOPEA, Joseph Noel Estrada, expressed his worry regarding the finances of private schools in the Philippines when the pandemic struck the country.

A lot of private schools are expected to shut down due to the inability to finance operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In some schools, there will be an expected retrenchment of 30 to 50 percent of their normal workforce. If no financial assistance from the government arrives, then this scenario will most likely happen.

Private institutions are also expecting a decrease in enrollees when schools reopen this year. Some parents might be hesitant to enroll their children with the pandemic scare still existing and a lot of families were crippled financially which can also be a factor for reduced enrollees.

Assistance for private school teachers

Leonor Briones of the Department of Education recognizes the need for assistance by teachers from small private schools affected by the pandemic. She advised school administrators to apply for financial assistance for their staff and teachers under the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”

With the government prioritizing public school funding, the best available help it can offer for now is for the teachers who underwent the “no work, no pay policy” to avail of the Bayanihan Act for immediate financial assistance.

Even public schools are having a hard time seeking funds intended for distance learning, which is set to start at the opening of classes on August 24. The DepEd secretary recognizes the struggle of small-scale private schools during this pandemic, but the national budget just has its priorities for now.

Just recently, the president announced that he will not allow physical classes to resume as long as no vaccine for the COVID-19 is available.