BIZ BUZZ: Private schools on the ropes
They know it’s a long shot, but private schools, colleges and universities are still trying to convince lawmakers to defer deliberations of the bicameral committee on proposals to ban the industry’s “no permit, no exam” policies.
Prohibiting this practice, according to them, would result in private schools scaling down their operations and sacrificing the quality of teaching. Eventually, this would result in the demise of the private educational sector, which complements the country’s public education system, they warned.
Biz Buzz hears from industry sources that private schools have long been seeking a dialogue with lawmakers to air their valid concerns but, so far, they have yet to be consulted on this proposed policy.
But private schools point out that bills disregard the challenges faced by their sector, which represents around half of the Philippine education system’s output.
Private schools produced 3.7 million graduates between 2010 and 2020, while data from the Commission on Higher Education show that private colleges and universities produced more graduates than state colleges and universities for the 2019-2020 school year.
Represented by the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (Cocopea), the member organizations of this private schools’ group includes the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines; Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities; Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities; Philippine Association of Private Schools, College and Universities; and Unified TVET of the Philippines Inc.
Other groups supporting this cause include the Association of Private School Administrators–Division of the City of San Fernando, Pampanga; the Davao Association of Private Schools and Administrators; the Federation of Associations of Private Schools and Administrators; and the National Alliance of Private Schools Philippines.
Several schools have also released individual statements expressing their indignation over the bills and urging lawmakers to listen to their cause. They argue that the bill is not needed since a mechanism to held financially struggling students meet their obligations already exists through a 2010 Department of Education order allowing schools to offer installment plans and accept deferred payments.
Of course, with national and local elections coming up in a couple of years, it’s easy to see why lawmakers are interested in pushing this populist piece of legislation. Will these senators and congressmen listen to reason? Or are votes more important? Abangan!
— Daxim L. Lucas INQ
Email us at BizBuzz@inquirer.com.ph
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