/ 16 August 2020

THE COORDINATING Council of Private Educational Associations appealed to the government to let private schools proceed with the opening of classes as originally scheduled on August 24.

The group stated private schools have been ‘tirelessly preparing’ to address the learning crisis, and are ready to start classes without compromising their students’ health and safety.

“We appeal to the President, to allow private schools to continue with school opening as scheduled, as we have been tirelessly preparing at the onset of this pandemic and massive efforts and solutions were made to address the learning crisis,” COCOPEA said in a statement.

The request came after Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones announced that President Duterte approved the deferment of the opening of classes to October 5 after narrating to the president the effects of reverting  Metro Manila and other provinces under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

COCOPEA reiterated that under Republic Act 7797, private schools can adopt their own school calendar within the period allowed by law. It also gives private schools the option to further move the school opening on any date but not beyond October 5.

The council noted too, that some private schools already opened their school year.

COCOPEA is also reaching out to the government to let private schools lend their resources to help public school systems with its delivery of education through the use of student vouchers or subsidies after stating it can still accommodate up to 3 million students.

The Department of Education has yet to respond on the matter.

COOPEA member associations are Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, Association of Christian Schools, Colleges, and Universities,  Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities, and Tech-Voc Schools Association of the Philippines.