“Maintaining the public-private school partnership” | The Manila Times

AMID the economic consequences brought by the Covid-19 pandemic to private schools across the country, a group of educators have urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to deliver on its promise of public-private complementarity in the education sector. education in the Philippines.

Although the DepEd said its financial support for private schools extends to the Educational Services Contract (ESC) and High School Voucher program, member schools of the National Alliance of Private Schools Philippines Inc. (NapsPhil) said they still hoped the national government would provide more grants to support private education in the country.

At the 2022 NapsPhil Trustee General Meeting on Friday, Rhodora Angela Ferrer, executive director of the Philippine Education Assistance Committee (PEAC), cited the need for the government to make education a priority for respond appropriately to past and present education challenges amid the pandemic.

“In this administration, what we want to do is really make education a priority. The problems are really there. It’s not enough to look at our own evaluations because they will not be credible, but all the international assessments have shown that we “I’m doing very badly, and that’s even before the pandemic. It’s not like we can always conveniently blame Covid for being the cause of these things,” she explained.

Ferrer called on the government to ensure complementarity by providing ESC at the elementary level (K-6) and Teacher Wage Subsidy for SHS teachers and increasing the Teacher Wage Subsidy (TSS) for others. levels to match public and private school salaries. teachers.

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She said she also explained to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian that the average teacher salary in public schools is 24,000 pesos while private schools can only give about 10,000 pesos, and therefore the TSS should be increased by 14,000 pesos per teacher per month multiplied. 10 months per school year, for a total of 140,000 pula per teacher.

“We [need to] stop this salary difference so that teachers do not migrate from private to public [schools]“, added Ferrier.

Meanwhile, NapsPhil President Dr. Reynaldo Faustino expressed disappointment at the absence from the assembly of Vice President and Chief Education Officer Sara Duterte-Carpio; Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo, also chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture; and Assistant Education Secretary for Governance and Field Operations Cesar Francis Bringas, having hoped they would personally hear the concerns of private schools.

He said he wished they could have more opportunities to engage with education officials in the future to air their grievances and provide suggestions on how the issues could be resolved.

Faustino referred to a survey indicating common problems faced by the education sector: quality of education; budget for education; affordability of education; brain drain; gap; dropout rate; and the social divide.

“Providing a quality education can be quite a challenge if a school has very few resources, like most of us here, but it is not impossible, as our experiences throughout the pandemic,” he said.

Faustino also expressed his gratitude to teachers and school administrators who have learned to become more creative and resourceful in giving students the best kind of education.

He also thanked the parents and alumni associations who have pledged to fully support school activities, as well as the government assistance, through the PEAC, which has enabled private education providers to host students. students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We always pray that public and private schools can be financially independent and sustainable, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, especially since the powers that be in education will always be available and ready to listen to the difficulties and the concerns of public and private schools so that we really feel the complementarity between the two sectors of education,” Faustino said.

NapsPhil members signed a manifesto advocating for the improvement of the private education sector amid the current challenges they face, as evidenced by the closure of 400 schools across the country during the pandemic.

The manifesto aims to lobby for government support; petition for reasonable oversight and regulation; request the timely processing and publication of documents necessary for the operation of the school; seek clear and consistent interpretation of DepEd orders and memos at all levels; call for the formal sending of the communication; urge that policy changes be accompanied by a rationale; and consider allowing private schools to continue blended learning arrangements beyond October 31, 2022, the last day of the transition period set by the DepEd for schools to implement five-day in-person learning. here on November 2, 2022.

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