An old Catholic school announced its permanent closure after the next academic year due to challenges worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement on May 25, St. Joseph College of Bulacan cited financial struggles, dwindling enrollees, competition with salary increases of public school teachers in the past six years as among the reasons for the closure.
“The enrollment of the College kept on dwindling as education from private school has been challenged by government policies of K-12 and the free tuition in state colleges and universities, local universities and colleges, and state-run technical and vocational institutions,” the College said.
“More so, the College could not keep up with the increases in public school teachers’ salaries that the College has found it hard to attract teachers and professors to teach,” it added.
These circumstances were further aggravated by the impact of the pandemic, according to the school.
“To top it all, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has greatly reduced, if not resulted to loss in family income, mandated mobility restrictions, the need to comply with IATF protocol on social distancing requirements, and the new demand of distance learning and all these factors, adversely affected the enrolment,” it said.
Because of these reasons, the management decided to close its doors after the academic year 2020-2021.
However, it vowed to coordinate with stakeholders, students and other people who will be affected by this shutdown to ease the transition following its decision.
“Rest assured that the College has specific and helpful plans for students affected to transfer to other schools according to peculiar circumstance of each student and the prescribed requirements of the regulatory bodies concerned,” it said.
St. Joseph College of Bulacan is a private school run by the St. Joseph College of Bulacan Inc. It was founded in December 1995 in Sta. Maria, Bulacan.
Private-run, Catholic educational institutions were among the establishments severely affected by the health crisis.
The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines previously stated that many Catholic schools have since ceased operations either temporarily or permanently last year.
One of them is the 107-year-old College of the Holy Spirit Manila which permanently closed in November 2020.
Its administration similarly cited the challenges brought by the tough lockdowns and their financial problems have led to the cease in operations.