2M students to leave private schools amid COVID-19 says COCOPEA
MANILA, Philippines — Around two million students are seen to leave private schools as Filipino families struggle with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a virtual Senate hearing on Thursday, Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) Managing Director Joseph Estrada said the enrollment rate in private schools may drop by 50 percent amid the pandemic.
COCOPEA counts as members 2,500 member private schools nationwide.
According to Estrada, private institutions comprise 16 percent of the country’s total school enrollment rate.
“There are 27 million learners and in the private sector, we account for 16 percent of the total enrollment. That accounts to 4 million students,” he told the Senate basic education committee, chaired by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.
Estrada said a recent survey conducted with COCOPEA members as respondents showed a “steady decline” in enrollment of 25 percent even before the pandemic started.
“Even prior to the pandemic, the steady decline already reached 25 percent, year in year out, because of a lot of factors na rin. But we’re anticipating more, around 50 percent,” Estrada said.
“Ang breakdown, nine percent sa elementary, 20 percent sa junior high, 46 percent in senior high,” he added.
Senator Nancy Binay then asked the Department of Education (DepED) on measures it would take to anticipate a possible transfer of the two million students to public schools.
In response, DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Lorenzo Mateo said the agency will be conducting an enrollment validation to estimate how many students will be transferring to public schools
“Mag ko-conduct ulit kami ng enrollment validation to estimate how many of those kids will go to our schools so we can anticipate the requirements needed for all those children,” Mateo said.
“We are anticipating nga dahil dito sa challenges na ito. Definiely yung mga bata sa private schools will either migrate to public schools or will totally drop out,” he added.
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