107-year old Manila school to close doors in 2022

Published November 22, 2020, 3:32 PM

by Gabriela Baron

The College of the Holy Spirit Manila (CHSM) in Mendiola is closing its doors in 2022, citing difficulties in attracting new students and operational challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

College of the Holy Spirit Manilat (CHSM Facebook page)

In a letter dated Oct. 28 to the CSHM community, Sr. Carmelita Victoria of the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit said the 107-year old institution has faced challenges in the last 10 years which made it difficult to attract new students and ramp up enrollment to make the school viable.

“Private education has faced an increasingly challenging environment resulting from government policies on K-12; free tuition in state colleges and universities, local universities and college, and state-run technical and vocational institutions; and the significant increase in public school teachers’ salaries compared to their private school counterparts,” the letter read.

The COVID-19 pandemic, CHSM added also heightened the challenges, which compelled the institution to close after the academic year 2021-2022.

“The reduction or loss in family income, mobility restrictions and social distancing requirements, and the new demands of distance learning have adversely affected enrollment, not only in CHSM, but in most private schools,” it said.

“After consultation with representatives of our stakeholders, and a deep and prayerful process of discernment, we are now even more convinced that the Holy Spirit is speaking clearly to us through the signs of the times, compelling us to make this extremely difficult decision: to close CHSM at the end of academic year (AY) 2021-2022,” Sr. Victoria’s letter read.

The timeline would allow the school to graduate current Grade 11 and 3rd year college students if they choose to stay on. However, Kinder to Grade 11 and 1st to 3rd year college will not be opened for academic year 2021-2022.

CSHM also appealed to students and parents for patience and cooperation as it assured proper transition for students’ transfer to other schools.

Founded in 1913, CSHM is part of the Mendiola Consortium, an organization of five schools located along Mendiola Street in Manila. The consortium also includes Centro Escolar Manila, San Beda University, La Consolacion College, and Saint Jude Catholic School.

CSHM, formerly known as the Holy Ghost College, was originally an exclusive school for girls, but started admitting male students in 2005. (With a report from Minka Klaudia S. Tiangco)