DepEd eyes privately-run public schools
With the government pushing for more public-private partnerships (PPP), the Department of Education (DepEd) is looking at pursuing a new kind of partnership where private organizations would be tapped to run public schools.
This was bared recently by Education Secretary Armin Luistro as DepEd continues to forge partnerships with corporate foundations, nongovernment organizations and civil society to address critical shortages in the public school system.
“I am thinking about the type of PPP where you get a private group to run one public school,” Luistro said.
“Technically, I can have a public school, I approach a foundation and say why don’t you run this school and we will support you with the following subsidies, and then you make them autonomous?” the DepEd chief said of the idea.
This proposal would need an enabling law to be implemented, said Luistro.
The measure may well be viewed as a way to augment the under-resourced public education sector, especially in terms of qualified teachers particularly in densely populated areas.
Luistro noted that cases of classroom congestion may be notable in urban centers while largely underreported are classes in rural areas with a measly student population.
DepEd has a standing partnership with private schools through the Government Assistance to Student and Teachers in Private Education program, where private schools absorb deserving students from crowded schools via government tuition subsidy.
DepEd expanded the program this year to some one million public school students, higher than last year’s 700,000 beneficiaries.
DepEd has also several partnerships with business groups and other private sector organizations for the construction of classrooms and acquisition of school desks and other school supplies.
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