NOTING that small private schools are suffering a huge blow in the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday said it was awaiting the response of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), to which it proposed including private school teachers on the list of those to be given financial aid under the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said they gave their proposal on April 21.
“We sympathize with the problem of private schools,” Briones said, assuring that the DepEd will also seek the help of Congress to provide assistance to the private school teachers.
Also, in a radio interview, Atty. Joseph Noel Estrada, managing director of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (Cocopea) expressed worries that some private schools can pay their teachers until April 30 only.
Estrada said that at least 500,000 private school employees are among their teaching and non-teaching personnel.
He worried that eventually, some teachers might resort to changing their careers if their salaries continue to be delayed.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Associations of Private School Administrators (Fapsa) also stressed that they solely rely on the tuition of students.
“It has to be understood that our teachers are hardly included in any amelioration projects of the government,” Fapsa president Eleazardo Kasilag said in a statement as they called on DepEd to include teachers from private schools in small business wage subsidy.
“We were left out in Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program, the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) Emergency Subsidy Program and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. This is indeed an oasis in the barren desert,” Kasilag said.
“The teachers of our small and medium-size member schools are crying for their survival right now,” he added, stressing, “We survive on tuition fees. We have big collectibles that we [failed] to get because classes were stopped in March.”