The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday confirmed that over 400 private schools offering basic education nationwide will not operate this school year (SY) 2020-2021.
Data from DepEd sourced from Undersecretary Jesus Mateo showed that a total of 440 private schools will not operate this upcoming school year in 16 regions. There is no data submitted yet from schools in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Mateo noted that there were 14, 435 private schools in SY 2019-2020.
Region III (Central Luzon) has the most number of private schools that will stop their operations with 88, followed by Region IV-A (Calabarzon) with 67 schools; and National Capital Region (NCR) with 54.
Asked for the reasons cited by the private schools that will not operate this school year, Mateo told the Manila Bulletin that these are mainly related to the “effect of pandemic to the economy which affected enrollment as well.” He cited the returning Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs) as another factor.
Based on the national enrollment data as of Aug. 25, enrollment in private schools remains low at 1.7 million. DepEd said that this number is only 41.75 percent of last school year’s enrollment at 4.3 million.
DepEd data as of Aug. 25 also showed that there are 398, 048 students who transferred from private schools to public schools. Of this number, 243, 659 are in elementary; 105, 852 are in Junior High School (JHS); 41, 941 in Senior High School (SHS) and 6, 596 are non-grade learners with disabilities.
In a virtual press briefing on Aug. 24, DepEd Undersecretary Revsee Escobedo announced that there are 1,394 private schools that opened from June to Aug. 21. A total of 6,449 private schools are scheduled to open from Aug. 24 to Oct. 5. 2020.
After President Duterte postponed the school opening on Aug. 24, DepEd announced that private schools that have started their classes may continue their operations ahead of the to Oct. 5 school opening as long as there are no in-person or face-to-face classes.