Over 400 schools to cease operations for SY 2020-2021

Photo: Unsplash/Bima Rahmanda

440 private schools among the nation’s total of 14,435 are stopping operations for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year, confirmed the Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday.

According to DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Mateo, the affected private schools offer basic education and hail from 16 regions. He further noted that a primary reason for the school’s closures was the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. Another reason is the influx of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

DepEd shared how enrollment in private schools is at a record low at just 41.75 percent of that in 2019.

Earlier in August, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendations of DepEd to move the formal opening of classes from August 24 to October 5 due to provide relief to “logistical limitations”. The proposal was made in response to the implications of having a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) enforced in Metro Manila and in certain provinces. Areas not falling under the MECQ were advised to continue doing simulations of the flexible learning to get ready for schools opening in October.

Pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 11480, which gives the President the power to move the date of the opening of classes in the Philippines or in areas during a state of calamity, an amendment was made to Republic Act (RA) No. 7797, which states that classes must open as early as the first Monday of June but no later than the last day of August.

Classes were disrupted in March as community quarantines were implemented all over the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under DepEd’s blended learning approach, television, radio, and the Internet are combined as modes of instruction as face-to-face classes will be largely prohibited.