Low enrollment in private schools can cause small schools closure, massive lay-offs of teachers
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has raised its concern to the low enrollment rate in private schools that could be a reason for small school closure and massive lay-offs of teachers and other education workers.
According to the latest data collected by the Department of Education, only 318,930 students have enrolled in private schools so far, which is only 7.6 percent of the total number of students enrolled in private schools last year.
“If enrolment will continue at this rate, we may have less than a million learners in private schools for this school year,” ACT secretary-general Raymond Basilio said.
“(This) may mean thousands of school closures, especially small ones that are unable to continue operation due to the lack of sufficient funds from tuition and other miscellaneous fees. This in turn will lead to massive lay-offs of education workers,” he added.
The enrollment period had started for two weeks already.
Department of Education recorded over 10 million students showed interest in opening the classes and enrolled in public schools.
The ACT also emphasized that some private schools already have undergone retrenchment and had to let go of employees,
It asked the DepEd to extend help to affected private schools teachers by hiring them as volunteer teachers given the increasing workload in the public sector due to the expected shift to distance learning
“We do, however, demand that the state does not make the same mistake it did with volunteer health workers when it offered an insultingly low pay of P500 per day allowance. Education and health workers alike deserve decent pay for their unparalleled and essential service,” said Basilio.
“We likewise urge the government to provide wage subsidy to private schools so they may keep their employees and cushion the effects of the crisis. Private school teachers must also receive the financial aid the government owes them since the lockdown started in March,” he added.