By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
In an effort to ensure orderly conduct of enrollment, the Department of Education (DepEd) has released enrollment guidelines for learners who intend to enroll in public schools nationwide.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones issued DepEd Order No. 008 s. 2020 or the guidelines on enrollment for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 in the context of the public health emergency due to COVID-19.
The guidelines, Briones said, aim to provide “schools various options for implementing a modified regular enrollment process that adheres” to the rules set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), the Office of the President (OP) and the Department of Health (DOH).
Briones said that these modified enrollment guidelines are anchored on the Basic Education Policy and will “guide the parents, legal guardians, and teachers in the enrollment of learners” for the incoming SY. “This policy provides a range of options to facilitate the enrollment of learners for all public schools in the basic education and Alternative Learning System (ALS) programs nationwide,” she added.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Briones said that DepEd will be offering multiple learning delivery modalities such as blended learning, distance learning, and homeschooling — either on top or in place of the face-to-face learning modality. “Still, for learners to be able to formally avail of the learning opportunities, their enrollment is essential,” she explained.
Earlier, DepEd said that schools shall conduct enrollment from June 1–30 for all students intending to attend SY 2020-2021 – including those who enrolled during the early registration period in February 2020 – “given that circumstances have changed substantially.”
During the enrollment period, Briones said that the DepEd also aims to utilize the process to “generate learner and household information and data critical for designing the learning delivery strategies and approaches, and for planning, resource allocation, and policy formulation.” However, she stressed that the “enrollment and data collection process must take into consideration the health and safety of its personnel and learners.”
No need to ‘rush’ to the schools
In an earlier online press briefing, Briones said that physical enrollment in schools or other similar activities will be highly discouraged – even in low risk areas. Thus, the first two weeks of shall be “completely be remote enrollment – where there will be absolutely no face-to-face.”
DepEd Undersecretary and Spokesperson Annalyn Sevilla said that parents do not need to rush to the schools of their children come June 1. “They just need to wait in their homes, the teachers or the previous advisers of the children will contact them – via calls or text messages – on the process of enrollment,” she said.
Sevilla noted that for those who might not have access to technology at all, DepEd the schools will coordinate with the local government units (LGUs) – particularly to the barangays – where they can get the enrollment and survey forms.
DepEd said that it has decided to conduct enrollment in basic education remotely to ensure strict physical distancing measures are observed. Remote enrollment, DepEd explained, refers to the process of registering students conducted without face-to-face interaction.
As cited in the guidelines, DepEd stressed that during the first two weeks of June, no face-to-face registration will be allowed – thus, the Schools Division Offices (SDOs) and schools were directed to “exhaust all possible means to conduct remote enrollment.”
Unless otherwise necessary, DepEd noted that “any form of physical submission of enrollment data” shall be done on the third week of the enrollment period in coordination with the LGUs. “Implementing remote enrollment shall take into consideration the resource inequalities and differing circumstances that exist among learners and teachers,” Briones explained.