We’ve been devastated by back-to-back news of dining places closing down due to losses and lockdown restrictions during the pandemic. But the effects of the crisis weigh even heavier now that a century-old school has succumbed and become a casualty as well.
On Nov. 22, the College of the Holy Spirit of Manila (CHSM) announced that it will completely cease operations after school year 2021-2022. However, only its current batch of incoming Grade 12 and fourth year college students can continue at CHSM until next school year should they choose to, as it will not be admitting any more students from other grade levels after this year.
The Catholic co-ed institution cited the numerous challenges in the educational sector becoming “increasingly complex” as the deciding factor for its voluntary shutdown. Among these challenges are the changes in operations that the school had to make in accordance with the government-mandated flexible learning system meant to slow down the pandemic.
“The recent COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation. The reduction or loss in family income, mobility restrictions and social distancing requirements and the new demands of distance learning have adversely affected enrollment, not only in CHSM, but in most private schools as well,” said Sr. Carmelita Victoria of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit, the order which runs the school.
November 22, 2020
College of the Holy Spirit of Manila
Aside from the pandemic worsening the situation, the school also lists the K-12 curriculum as one of the major challenges that it has faced during the last decade. Enrollment rates in the century-old private institution also saw a decline as more state universities, colleges and other educational institutions offer free tuition to students. As the salaries of public school teachers increased significantly compared to that of private schools, acquiring staff has also become challenging for CHSM.
Founded in 1913, the College of the Holy Spirit of Manila started as an exclusive all-girls institution. It was only in 2005 that it shifted to a co-ed admission system in high school, and 2016 in college. The institution is among the five schools that make up the Mendiola Consortium. The others are the Centro Escolar University, San Beda University, La Consolacion College, and Saint Jude Catholic School, which are in the same area.
Among the CHSM’s notable alumni are 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and Philippine Daily Inquirer founding chairperson Eugenia Duran Apostol, award-winning movie and television director Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara, international fashion designer and entrepreneur Josie Natori, musician Maxelende Ganade who translated the Bohol Hymn from English to Binisaya, Fernando C. Amorsolo Foundation president Sylvia Amorsolo-Lazo, and the first woman in the country to be elected in public office and “Manila’s darling” Carmen Lim Planas.
Header photo from Richard A. Reyes for Inquirer.net
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