By Joseph B.A. Marzan
The Department of Education-Region 6 (DepEd-6) on Tuesday confirmed that 10 private schools under the Schools Division of Iloilo (excluding the separate divisions of the cities of Iloilo and Passi) shuttered for School Year 2022-23.
Schools Division Superintendent Luz De Los Reyes informed Daily Guardian of eight of these 10 schools, but she had not responded to requests for follow-up interview as of this writing.
These schools include the following:
- Saint Louis de Montfort Academy (Dumangas);
- Zid’s World Christian Learning Center (Guimbal);
- Leveling-Up Brilliant Academy (Leganes);
- Miagao Rose of Sharon Christian Learning Center (Miagao);
- Georgia International Academy (Oton);
- Speed Headstart School (Oton);
- Mother Nature Child Development Learning Center (Pavia);
- Asia Pacific Institute International (San Miguel);
- L’ecole Montessori of Don Bosco (Tigbauan); and
- Brentfield Learning Center (Zarraga).
DepEd-6 spokesperson Hernani Escullar Jr. these schools closed due to financial losses, low enrollment, lack of funds, and the COVID-19 pandemic, among other reasons.
“Some of these reasons was low enrollment, meaning there was enrollment but not sufficient enough to sustain the operations of these schools that’s why they opted to have permanent or temporary closure for this school year. Also, some of the reasons is financial losses and lack of funds,” he added.
He also emphasized that out of the 10 schools, only Georgia International Academy, Speed Headstart School, and Mother Nature Child Development Learning Center were permanently closed, and the 7 remaining had intentions to reopen in the future.
Escullar said that De Los Reyes and the Iloilo division are assisting learners in transferring to other nearby schools, whether private or public.
Their data also indicated that for this school year, a total of 74 private schools had shut down in Western Visayas, likewise for the same reasons.
But like the seven in Iloilo, some of them were only temporary, citing one school which closed due to renovation.
SUCCESSFUL DAY 1
Meanwhile, Escullar said the first official day of classes on Aug 22, 2022 was successful, with only a few minor issues easily fixed at the lower levels.
Escullar Jr. told Daily Guardian in a phone interview that there were concerns which were immediately addressed by school personnel.
“We had monitored smaller concerns but those had been immediately addressed by school personnel, but over-all the start of classes has been peaceful. There were no big problems encountered, especially for those schools who implemented five days of in-person classes as a transition option and those with blended learning modality,” Escullar said.
The concerns include omission of names in class lists, miscommunication as to the learning modality, learners not wearing face masks, among others.
“There was miscommunication because some of the learners were excited to go back to school [physically], and they may have forgotten or were not informed by the school that they implemented a ‘Set-A-Set-B’ for the start of in-person classes to maintain health protocols, and this problem was addressed by school principals and class advisers. It was just a simple miscommunication,” he added.
Escullar also expressed gratitude to police officers and barangay officials and tanods for helping with the peace and order around schools.
As to reports in other regions of lacking chairs and other equipment, as well as continuing classes amid inclement weather, Escullar said that there were no such incidences in this region.
“Although there was rain, learners were excited to come back to school for in-person classes, and if ever there were smaller floods or muddy roads, the concerns were immediately forwarded by school personnel to local government units who acted swiftly on these,” he said.
Escullar said that they are in a transition period until October 31 to get learners into classrooms for a gradual return of full face-to-face classes in the region on November 2.
DepEd data as of 7:00 a.m. of August 23 indicated that Region 6 has had 2.29 million enrolled learners, the fourth largest in the country after the Region 4-A (3.94 million), Region 3 (2.97 million), and the National Capital Region (2.76 million).