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Private schools lament double standard in DepEd's distance learning rules

A group of private schools on Wednesday lamented what it called a double standard in the implementation of the Department of Education's regulations as regards online classes and other modes of distance learning.

At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines managing director Joseph Noel Estrada said some requirements imposed on private institutions were not asked of public schools.

“Why would the private schools be subjected to such requirements if this will not be complied in the public schools systems? In other words, meron pong double standard,” Estrada said.

Some of the requirements he was referring to were under the DepEd Order No. 13, which includes non-negotiable requirements for private schools that would like to offer distance learning.

“Ang hinihingi lang po [ng private schools] ay leniency, supportive policy for us to continue,” Estrada said.

On Tuesday, the DepEd reported that at least 4,488 teachers were affected after 865 private schools have suspended operations for the coming school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the reasons for the temporary closure is the inability of private schools to comply with the standards, according to the DepEd.

“If we're talking about trying to save them—kung hindi po natin kaya 'yung economic intervention at this time—maybe we can start in terms of policy intervention,” Estrada said.

“Nanawagan po kami ever since na sana ‘yung policy is less regulatory but supportive,” he added. -NB, GMA News