DepEd: Enrollees reach 24M or 86% of last year’s total
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) announced on Monday that the number of enrollees in K-12 public and private schools for the coming school year had reached almost 24 million, or 86.10 percent of last year’s total enrollment.
At an online press conference, Education Secretary Leonor Briones attributed the “impressive” numbers, especially in public schools, to the gradual reopening of the country’s economy.
Data from the DepEd showed that a total of 23.9 million students were now enrolled for this school year, with 21.9 million from public schools and the rest from private learning institutions. There were around 398,000 transferees from private schools ahead of the opening of classes on Oct. 5.
In July, the education department reduced its enrollment target to 22.2 million from 28 million due to a dismal turnout after the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) adversely impacted the economy, leading to many parents losing their jobs.
During the previous school year, enrollment from kindergarten to senior high school in both public and private schools totaled 27.7 million.
Briones said they also expected an increase in the number of enrollees for the alternative learning system, which was now at 365,596, or almost 50 percent of last year’s total of 739,872.
“About 46 million parents or guardians believe in the education system for their children, and we can see that they give importance to education,” she added.
34 days to class opening
Revsee Escobedo, education undersecretary for field operations, said that with 34 days left before the opening of classes next month, 57 percent of self-learning modules across all regions were ready for distribution.
In Metro Manila, DepEd Regional Director Malcolm Garma reported that all schools division offices (SDOs) had achieved more than 100 percent of their target enrollment for the coming school year. However, only eight of 16 SDOs had produced and printed 80 percent of the required modules.
Despite this, the distribution of the learning materials would proceed today until Sept. 15 and regardless of the quarantine status in the National Capital Region.
Garma said that the printed modules already covered the first grading period, adding that they wanted to deliver the learner packages as early as possible “so we can prepare better for the opening of classes on Oct. 5.”
Briones also addressed President Duterte’s order to strengthen health literacy amid the pandemic, saying that psychosocial interventions were already embedded in the K-12 curriculum even before the coronavirus hit the country.
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