Low enrollment, pandemic shutter 865 private schools for 2020-2021 academic year
(Philstar.com) - September 14, 2020 - 1:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education on Monday confirmed that over 800 private schools will not be operating this coming school year. 

Latest data from DepEd shows that of the total 14,435 private schools in the country, 865 will not be operating in School Year 2020-2021. 

In addition to this, figures from the department shows that the largest proportion of these non-operational schools, at 374, were forced to suspend operations due to low or no enrollment. 

Another 333 schools were cited by DepEd as non-operational due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Meanwhile, 35 schools will not be operating due to their financial status, 15 due to concerns over the safety of learners and school personnel, 25 due to unreadiness, and nine due to their lack of permit, DepEd said. 

Another 74 private schools will not be operating due to other reasons not currently listed by the department. 

Geographically, majority of private schools suspending operations are in Central Luzon with 141, followed by Calabarzon with 136, Metro Manila with 126 and Western Visayas with 86.

Private schools see enrollment halved

Latest data from the agency shows that only about 2 million students have enrolled in private schools so far, compared to the 4.3 million from last school year.

According to DepEd, this means private schools have reached only 47% of last year's enrollment figures.

The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA), an umbrella organization of private schools, last Wednesday projected that private schools would only reach 50% of last year's enrollment rates for School Year 2020-2021.

According to COCOPEA Managing Director Joseph Noel Estrada, around 400,000 private school students have transferred to public schools as of August 27.

DepEd on Monday confirmed that the total number of enrollment remains at 24.3 million for the coming school year as compared to the 27.7 million from the year before.

While enrollment in private schools dramatically decreased, the agency said public schools saw 98% of its enrollment rates from the previous school year. 

In total, DepEd's data shows that enrollment for the incoming school year is at 87.5% of last year's numbers.

Due to the pandemic, classes for School Year 2020-2021 will be conducted through distance learning modalities such as online learning, modules, television and radio.

While public schools are set to reopen on October 5, private schools and non-DepEd-schools were allowed to open earlier at their discretion. — Bella Perez-Rubio

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 9, 2020 - 12:24pm

Follow this thread for updates on when classes will resume, and how those classes will be conducted.

Photo: Students wearing protective face masks have their temperatures taken while entering their college campus in Manila on January 31, 2020. AFP/Ted Aljibe

October 9, 2020 - 12:24pm

A group of teachers warns of class disruptions and drop-outs if the problems have not been resolved a week after classes were opened.

“The Department of Education should objectively assess and boldly address the critical problems experienced in the first week of school opening, rather than patting its own back for its imagined success. If the agency has any foresight, they should know that the school year they opened is hanging by a thread,” says Raymond Basilio, Alliance of Concerned Teachers secretary general.

October 6, 2020 - 10:54am

The resumption of classes on Monday was not a victory as claimed by Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan says in a statement.

"Our leaders look at the millions disenfranchised and call it victory. They look at the teachers contracting the virus and march forward. They look at the millions of dropouts and four students dead and call it a new venture," the group says.

"You send millions to school with an underfunded and exclusive education system that leaves millions out anyway. Opening classes does not mean that you have accomplished the slightest thing. We have raised our voices for six months, and you have sat on your hands watching dropouts rise. This is not victory over COVID-19, this is the defeat of common sense," the youth group adds.

October 5, 2020 - 8:04am

Education Secretary Leonor Briones officially declares school year 2020-2021 open in an address streamed through Facebook.

She says this ends the debate on whether classes should resume and whether the department is ready for the blended learning system required by health and safety protocol against the novel coronavirus.

October 4, 2020 - 12:49pm
As public school teachers get ready for the resumption of classes on Monday, Sen. Risa Hontiveros calls for government support for them, including the proper medical benefits in case they get sick.
She says teachers should also get an additional allowance for internet access and to print out learning materials as well loans for computers and laptops for them to implement distance education.
"The government should spend for these because this is part of the teachers' official obligations," she says in Filipino.
October 3, 2020 - 2:51pm

A group of teachers calls for accountability from the government for "delaying and still failing to ensure the delivery of safe, accessible, and quality education amid the pandemic."

“We’ve repeatedly heard Sec. Briones give thanks to the President over his claimed ‘support’ for blended learning. Yet, after two postponements, President Duterte still has nothing to show beyond lip service," says ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio.

"This government remains to be unresponsive to the people’s just and urgent demands in relation to school opening at the height of the health and socio-economic crisis. This is a huge disservice to the Filipino people and a violation of the youth’s fundamental right to education, with the President as the main culprit while Sec. Briones was complicit to these injustices,” he adds.

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