The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely affected thousands of businesses, big or small, around the world. This has effectively put many individuals in distress as they have either lost their primary source of income, their own business, or their life’s work—on top of battling a pandemic and being in isolation.
But it’s not just businesses that have been affected by the health crisis, even educational institutions were forced to close because of it. In fact, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) recently announced that ten private Catholic schools will be temporarily closing due to the pandemic. (Read: Robredo to Launch Apprenticeship Program for Out of School Youth)
According to the group, the closure is because of a low number of enrollees, which they attribute to COVID-19. “Malaking kinalaman ang pandemic sa kawalan ng enrollees ng maraming paaralan. Maraming parents kasi ang walang hanapbuhay, walang pambayad ng tuition,” said CEAP executive director Jose Allan Arellano.
Nine of the ten schools, whose names were not disclosed by CEAP, were mostly regional—some in Central Luzon and Visayas, and one in Mindanao. And while most of these institutions are just temporarily closing, one school has already announced their permanent closure after the next school year.
The College of the Holy Spirit Manila (CHSM) has decided to permanently close down after the academic year 2021-2022. This is according to their administration, who said that the challenges of attracting enrollees and operational issues due to the pandemic led to the difficult decision of closing the school after 107 years.
Sr. Carmelita Victoria of the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit said in a letter that the institution has been facing difficulties in the last ten years which led to difficulty in drawing new students and increasing the number of enrollees. (Read: 3 Prayers for Students in Homeschool)
“Private education has faced an increasingly challenging environment resulting from government policies on K-12; free tuition in state colleges and universities, local universities and college, and state-run technical and vocational institutions; and the significant increase in public school teachers’ salaries compared to their private school counterparts,” she said.
Effects of the Pandemic
Then the COVID-19 pandemic came, making it even harder for CHSM to increase their student population, let alone maintaining the current number. (Read: PH Catholic School Converts Its Hotel Into COVID-19 Facility)
“After consultation with representatives of our stakeholders, and a deep and prayerful process of discernment, we are now even more convinced that the Holy Spirit is speaking clearly to us through the signs of the times, compelling us to make this extremely difficult decision: to close CHSM at the end of academic year (AY) 2021-2022,” Sr. Victoria said.
In its 107 years, CHSM has graduated the likes of GMA 7 reporter Aubrey Carampel, investigative journalist Sheila Coronel, and University of the Philippines System Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose B. Bautista.
CHSM is one of the five schools of the Mendiola Consortium—an organization of educational institutions around Mendiola in Manila. The four other schools, Centro Escolar Manila, San Beda University, La Consolacion College, and Saint Jude Catholic School, will continue to operate.