A group of private schools asked the Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday to suspend an order that sets requirements on distance learning, saying it would “further marginalize struggling private schools.”
Instead of issuing a “non-negotiable” set of requirements for distance learning, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (Cocopea) said DepEd should help private schools adapt to the shift to blended learning.
“What private schools need now is policy interventions to allow it to transition to flexible learning modalities with ease,” Cocopea managing director Joseph Noel Estrada said in a statement.
The education department, in its order, requires private schools that would use online distance learning to provide a learning management system. It also requires technical expertise to run and support the platform 24/7 aside from access to devices and connectivity for teachers and students.
“With the public pressure from parents, including government officials, to reduce tuition, where will the private schools get the financial wherewithal to fund the ‘non-negotiable minimum requirements’ set by the DepEd in D.O. 13?” Estrada said.
Cocopea said there were no consultations with private schools prior to the issuance of the department order.
Enrollment in private schools dropped this year to less than 500,000 compared to last school year’s 4.3 million enrollees.