Aiming for continuous education for the city’s youth despite the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Baguio City Council appeals to learning institutions to defer tuition fee increases.
This call was made through a City Council resolution which also implores the Department of Education (DepEd), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to help prevent closures of private schools by providing them with assistance.
Baguio City Councilor Vladimir Cayabas said that some private schools, colleges, and universities in the city have already applied, complied, and were permitted to increase school fees for the school year 2020 to 2021, even before the pandemic.
He added that with the crisis affecting everyone, especially the livelihood of ordinary citizens, any increase in school fees is not practical, humanitarian, and logical.
“Any upwards adjustment of school fees may even increase the number of school dropouts and out-of-school youth within the locality, which is highly detrimental to our city’s youth empowerment and human resource development,” the councilor said.
Furthermore, he added that survival or sustenance assistance to private schools would likewise be of great help to preempt possible mass layoffs of teachers and other school personnel.
In relation to this, the resolution calls on DepEd, TESDA, and CHED to consider supporting affected private schools through technical provisions, human resources training, subsidy, loan, and other kinds of assistance to help them survive amidst the crisis and to ensure their continued growth and operation to the interest of the learning public.
There are six schools in the Cordillera region that have already signified closure intention due to various reasons not related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to DepEd Regional Office. Meanwhile, Baguio City Schools Division Superintendent Marie Carolyn Verano said that five schools from the city have already expressed intention to cease operations.