PEAC exec wants expanded subsidies for private school students

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 15) — The Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC) urged the government to expand subsidy programs for students wanting to enroll in private schools, saying that they have the facilities to help address the current classroom shortage.

During CNN Philippines' special presentation COVID-19: Addressing the Educational Crisis which aired on Monday, PEAC Executive Director Doris Ferrer said that if more students migrate to public schools, it will "burden" the Department of Education (DepEd).

She called on the department to study boosting its subsidy programs, which are meant to complement the public school system.

Ferrer cited the DepEd's Educational Service Contracting (ESC) and Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP).

The ESC program intends to decongest overcrowded public schools, while the SHS VP covers qualified learners in participating private or non-DepEd public senior high schools.

"This is one area that we have to look into instead of just thinking of building classrooms," she said. "It is also possible that we expand these programs because there are classrooms and seats in private schools that can be utilized as well."

Last week, DepEd said it lacks around 91,000 classrooms for the school year 2022 to 2023.

DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa said they plan to build temporary learning centers, adding that the department is in talks with local government units to identify temporary learning facilities within communities.

READ: DepEd to set up makeshift classrooms in quake-hit Abra