President Rodrigo Duterte called on private schools to allow the staggered payment of tuition amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a televised address to the nation on May 28, the president expressed “hope” that the schools “would allow staggered payments” of tuition and other school fees.
The Department of Education announced earlier that classes will start on August 24 with schools adopting various learning options, including online classes.
The president, however, said he will not allow the resumption of classes if a vaccine against the coronavirus disease is not yet developed.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said her department is aware of calls to suspend the opening of classes, “but what other options do we have?”
“We have to go on because education must continue,” she said, adding that the health and safety of learners and teachers remain the “utmost consideration” of the Department of Education.
Several private educational institutions have earlier said that they are “struggling” financially due to “unsettled tuition” due to the pandemic.
The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations has already sought assistance from the government, particularly on behalf of school personnel and students.
The group said it welcomes “any government support in any form” to students, parents, and schools across education programs.
The group also asked for the inclusion in the social amelioration packages the educational costs and needs of students and financial assistance to teachers and school personnel.
The group had earlier called for the “immediate and urgent release of funds” to the Department of Education for the disbursement of government subsidies for students in private basic education.