₱600M tuition subsidies not enough for students of private, public schools, group says

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The government's budget for tuition subsidies will not be able to cover enough students both from the public and private schools, an official from the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) said on Friday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) — The government's budget for tuition subsidies will not be able to cover enough students both from the public and private schools, an official from the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) said on Friday.

Joseph Noel Estrada, executive director of COCOPEA, pointed out that private schools are already struggling to sustain the new online learning system, even as ₱600 million was allocated under the Bayanihan 2 Law to fund institutions.

Estrada said around two million basic education students and 1.3 million college students are already enrolled in private schools.

"Kung ito'y paghahatian nila 'yung ₱600 million, maaaring hindi sapat," Estrada told CNN Philippines' Newsroom.

[Translation: If we will divide the ₱600 million it may not be enough.]

The director appealed to have the government either prioritize subsidizing students who are nearing graduation or completing their studies or those who have failed to enroll.

He reiterated that the pandemic had already taken a toll on the private schools after some 400,000 students moved to the public school system and 865 schools suspended operations, citing data from the Education Department.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier appealed to the schools to reconsider their decision to close when the subsidies were still pending. She assured them that the "economy is improving."