Private schools in the Philippines should defer fee increases in light of the financial and economic struggles brought about by the pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) appealed today.
The DepEd also urged private institutions to refrain from charging miscellaneous fees in the upcoming school year “in view of the financial constraints that parents and students are expected to face due to the pandemic.”
“We recognize the need to ensure the sustainability of private educational institutions…However, this objective must be balanced with the accessibility of these services to learners, particularly those whose families are experiencing financial difficulties brought about by the imposition of necessary COVID-19 management measures,” the department added in its statement.
Nananawagan ang Kagawaran ng Edukasyon sa pamunuan ng mga pribadong paaralan na ipagpaliban muna ang pagtaas ng…
The school year will resume on Aug. 24, but President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the postponement of face-to-face classes until a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available. Private schools may opt to resume classes in September, according to Education Secretary Leonor Briones.
Students are expected to learn lessons through the help of various media including TV and the internet, or what DepEd calls “blended learning.”
This new form of learning poses a challenge for both the teachers and the students. Already, students from cash-strapped families are planning to ditch school because they can’t afford the additional costs associated with the new system of learning. Teachers meanwhile believe they have to work longer hours because of the new system, adding that they will also need to motivate possibly bored at-home students who can afford blended learning.
Earlier this month, Briones herself acknowledged that many small private schools in the country are on the verge of closing down due to a lack of enrollees, forcing many to cut costs and lay off teachers because of the pandemic.
“We have this phenomenon of migration – from private to public, not only of students but also of teachers,” Briones told Manila Bulletin.
Unlike private institutions, public schools in the Philippines do not charge tuition. Though the cost of uniforms, school supplies and other learning materials, as well transport, and other miscellaneous expenses do not come free.
Meanwhile, Secretary Briones said that the DepEd will be distributing printed learning modules to students who don’t have access to radio, TV or the internet. Briones said Duterte is also eyeing the distribution of transistor radios to far-flung areas to help students cope with blended learning.
This article, Education Dep’t urges PH private schools to defer fee increase, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!