THE Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (Cocopea) has rejected the 4-day school week proposal of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in a bid to ease traffic problems in the metropolis because of the construction of several infrastructure projects.
Br. Narciso Erguiza, FSC, Ed.D, former president of De La Salle University (DLSU), said the proposed 4-day school week is not the right solution to the monstrous traffic problem in Metro Manila. He said the scheme will disrupt the normal run of phase in education.
“If we have this problem, let the schools view and have their own adjustments and let not the Commission on Higher Education or the Department of Education run after them because they lose a number of school days,” Erguiza told reporters.
Erguiza said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and MMDA should not dictate what schools should do, stressing that the decision of reducing the number of school days will badly affect the learning experience of students.
“The DPWH and MMDA are mandating the schools to stop their classes. What kind of a system are we following?” he asked, adding that the public works department should come up with certain measures to address the traffic congestion.
“That is my personal response. I think we can be more proactive in the way we respond to the situation and how it affects the education (sector).”
Rhodora “Doris” Ferrer, executive director of the Catholic Educational Associations of the Philippines (CEAP), also expressed the same sentiment, saying it will be best for the schools to deal with the problem depending on their location.
“Let the schools decide because the schools will have to comply with contact time, with the programs that they are implementing and ensuring that it gets implemented,” Ferrer said.
“Given whatever pedagogical practices that they [private schools]really want to do, I mean, you can’t impose distance learning, etc. It’s really up to the schools. All schools have the learners’ interest. You don’t have to compromise the learning,” she added.
Cocopea is one of the country’s largest umbrella organizations of private schools. It is made up of five educational associations which include the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities; the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines; the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities; the Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges, and Universities; and the Technical-Vocational School Associations of the Philippines.