Private schools have become marginalized because the gov’t. has spoiled the public schools, not for what they need, but for what they want - FAPSA

/ 27 July 2020

PRIVATE school administrators want to hear President Rodrigo Duterte discuss in his State of the Nation Address scheduled at 4 in the afternoon today the concerns of private colleges and universities among other issues.

“For the SONA of PRRD, we wish to hear his full recognition of private schools as education partner,” Eleazardo Kasilag, president of the Federation of Associations of Private School Administrators, said in an interview.

According to Kasilag, private schools have been left out of the equilibrium, gasping and scrimping for crumbs on public schools’ banquet.

“Private schools,” the FAPSA head said, “have become marginalized because the government has spoiled the public schools, not much for what they need but for what they want.”

The group has reiterated its call for the creation of the bureau of private schools to address its long-standing issues and concerns.

“It is for this reason that private schools want the creation of the bureau of private schools be announced during the SONA as their sanctuary to address all their issues and concerns,” Kasilag stressed.

According to Kasilag, the DepEd could hardly handle the valid grievances of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers as well as the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition about the online education mandate, “but FAPSA has problems of its own beyond the generosity of DepEd.”

“If it is the issue on mass testing and gadgets for public schools, it is survival for private schools,” Kasilag lamented.

He said his group’s last hope is the President’s SONA, and if nothing happens, “our group may have to join the political arena next year.”

“There is a clamor from FAPSA marginalized yet quality torch-bearers that we need to put sectoral representation for our diminishing sector. If all fails, FAPSA sectoral representation is the last alternative,” Kasilag said.

For its part, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition wants to hear concrete solutions from the chief executive for the education sector.

“For the President’s SONA, we hope to hear his concrete solutions, not just plans, for the education sector. As we enter the new normal, we will surely face further challenges greater than those we have experienced in the past,” Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson, said in a separate interview.

Basas noted that in this SONA, the country’s teachers are expecting a straightforward announcement from the President, whether the schools will open on August 24 or not.

“The President must listen to the voice of those who will be directly affected by the looming crisis in education — the students, their poor parents and those who will work on the frontlines, our teachers. While the DepEd has assured a prepared system of distance schooling, the facts from the ground say otherwise,” Basas ended.