City Council sets hearing on ‘illegal’ schools in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 October) —  The committee on education, science and technology, culture and arts of the city council has set a hearing on November 14 on allegations that some private schools in the city are operating without a permit.

Committee chair Councilor Leah Librado-Yap scheduled the hearing after receiving several complaints against such schools.

On October 23, Yap received a letter from a certain Edith, a resident of Sabroso Village, Ecoland, complaining about an unnamed school reportedly owned by Ronie and Tessie Jorolan.

Freddie Vistal, also a resident of Sabroso Village, in a phone interview on Wednesday identified the school as the Sovereign Grace Baptist Educational Ministry,

He said it has been operating since 2010 and still holds classes for at least 40 students in Nursery, Kindergarten 1 and 2, and Grade 1.

He personally reported the school’s alleged illegal operation to Yap earlier this month.

The school owners are yet to comment on the issue, although the city council will invite them to the committee hearing.

Last August 24, three parents of students who were enrolled in the Good Shepherd Learning School in Toril submitted a complaint against the school to Yap after their children were refused enrollment in another school.

The school was ordered closed effective this school year for allegedly illegally operating since 1996.

The Department of Education (DepEd) 11 issued cease-and-desist and closure orders to the school following an ocular inspection and evaluation last May 15 conducted by Dr. Alma Cifra, DepEd 11’s education program supervisor.

Validating test

Pastor Bert Digaum, administrator of the Good Shepherd School, requested the National Education Testing and Research Center (NETRC) to give its students a Philippine Validating Test (PVT).

In his letter to NETRC through the DepEd-11, he requested a PVT for a total of 269 students from school years 2003-2004, 2004-2005, and 2007-2008 to 2011-2012.

But he is yet to submit another request letter to include students from school years 2000-2001 and 2005-2006 in the list of recommended PVT takers before the DepEd-11 will forward his letter to the NETRC.

Yap said she is encouraging other parents whose children are enrolled in illegal schools to immediately report to her office or write to the DepEd-11.

The region has a total of 215 registered private schools for SY 2011-2012. (Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews)