A total of 865 private schools in the Philippines will not open this academic year, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Monday showing the grim impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and the education sector.
Fresh data from DepEd showed that 865 private schools offering basic education have halted operations for school year 2020 to 2021, or nearly double the more than 400 private schools earlier reported in August.
Last year, there were more than 14,000 private schools in operation.
The DepEd, citing reports of its field offices, said the closure of the private schools affect 58,327 learners and 4,488 teachers.
Most of the private schools shutting down for the upcoming school year are from Central Luzon with 141 establishments, followed by the Southern Tagalog region (Calabarzon) with 136, and Metro Manila with 126.
Majority of the private schools that stopped operations cited the lack of enrollees according to DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Mateo. The DepEd had earlier said it expects many students from private schools to transfer to public schools citing the economic impact of the pandemic on the income of families.
The education official however also noted that the closure of some private schools was because of their incapability to comply with DepEd’s requirements on distance learning.
“Hindi sila makapagbigay noong mga requirement natin on the alternative modalities,” Mateo said in a virtual press briefing.
(They cannot address the requirements needed on alternative modalities.)
Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte and lawmakers are “taking this phenomenon seriously” and looking for ways to help displaced private school teachers.
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