Vico Sotto grants reprieve to financially struggling Pasig private schools
The Pasig City government has provided a lifeline to private schools hit hard financially by the coronavirus pandemic by waiving all regulatory fees until face-to-face classes resume.
In a post on social media on Sunday, Mayor Vico Sotto announced the passage of Ordinance No. 32, series of 2020, which, according to him, would help out the city’s private educational institutions (PEIs) and avoid overcrowding in public schools.
“We know private schools are having a difficult time, too, and some are in danger of closing. Many of their students cannot afford tuition anymore. This puts our public school system in danger of overcrowding,” he said.
According to the ordinance, the waiver of all regulatory fees being charged by the local government would apply to all PEIs offering basic, secondary, tertiary and postgraduate level education.
Sotto, however, reminded the school owners that this did not mean they should not renew their permits with the local government.
At the same time, the city’s scholarship fund was extended to cover 3,000 indigent private school students, with the beneficiaries to be identified by school officials.
Earlier, the Department of Education moved the opening of elementary and secondary schools from Aug. 24 to Oct. 5, but later clarified that private schools could open earlier as long as classes were done online and through other distant learning schemes.
In an interview with the Inquirer, Pasig Schools Division Superintendent Evalou Agustin said the ordinance would benefit the 150 private school owners in the city as many of their students had transferred to public schools. This year, around 7,000 students from PEIs moved to public schools compared to around 1,800 last year, she added.
Based on Pasig’s latest Learner Information System data, there were around 11,187 students who enrolled in private schools (kindergarten to Grade 12) this year or only 22 percent of the 50,000 enrollees last year.
On the other hand, as of
Aug. 13, a total of 144,878 students had registered in public schools in the city, for an enrollment rate of 107.12 percent. INQ
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