• Colleges bracing for lower enrolment – Cocopea

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    The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (Cocopea) said that the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 or K-to-12 law will enhance basic education but there are challenges in its implementation.

    The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the K-to-12 program was signed last week.

    The program extends basic education from 10 years to 12 years, which is the current international standard.

    “We supported K-12 because it raises the quality of basic education. Our advocacy is to improve the overall quality of education, because that is how we enhance the competitiveness of Filipinos,” Dr. Patricia Bustos Lagunda, Cocopea chairman, said.

    She added that besides the challenges in implementing the K-to-12 law, there were serious threats to the viability of private Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) during the transition period.

    “Already, colleges and universities are bracing for a sharp drop in enrollment as students enter grades 11 and 12, instead of first year college. In fact, studies show that HEIs stand to lose P150 billion in foregone tuition during the transition period,” Lagunda said.

    Even as schools grapple with serious revenue losses, she said there would be constant pressure to continue investing in equipment, training, and other things needed to maintain and improve quality.

    “Good quality comes at a cost, and we hope that our policymakers and lawmakers will find a way that allows our schools to remain competitive amid falling tuition income that result from the K-12 implementation,” she added.

    Lagunda noted that in supporting the K-12 program, Cocopea has demonstrated its commitment to education reform.

    “We fought hard for K-12 because we are a partner in educating our youth. Without private schools and private capital, public schools would be even more crowded and course offerings would be more limited,” she said.

    Cocopea is a federation of 2,000 private educational institutions in the Philippines that belong to its five national member-organizations: Association of Christian Schools, Colleges, and Universities (ACSCU); Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP); Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU); Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAPSCU); and Technical-Vocational School Associations of the Philippines (TEVSAPHIL).

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