By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Despite the COVID-19 situation in the country, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that there are nearly six million learners – both in public and private schools – across all basic education grade levels who have registered during the first week of the enrollment period for the School Year (SY) 2020-2021.
DepEd data showed that as of June 5, there are 5,955, 962 learners nationwide who registered using remote or virtual enrollment starting June 1.
DepEd has set a month-long enrollment period this June before the new school year officially starts on August 24.
DepEd’s enrollment data covers public, private, state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs) and learners across all basic education level including Kindergarten, Elementary or Grades 1 to 6, Junior High School (JHS) or Grades 7 to 10, and Senior High School (SHS) or Grades 11 and 12. The enrollment figures also included non-graded learners with disabilities and those under the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program.
Latest data on enrollment shows that there are 327, 912 learners who registered in Kindergarten; 2, 964, 130 in Elementary; 2, 001, 551 in JHS; and 660, 054 in SHS. Meanwhile, there are 11, 679 learners with disability who are currently enrolled along with 30, 636 enrollees in the ALS.
Across all basic education grade levels, the most number of enrollees were recorded from Region IV-A with 1, 283, 358 followed by Region III with 772, 035 and National Capital Region (NCR) with 680, 493.
For the first time, DepEd has decided to implement a “remote enrollment” system nationwide wherein the process of registering learners can be conducted without face-to-face interaction amid the threat of COVID-19.
For Lyra Macada, a mother of an incoming Grade 5 learner, the enrollment process this year is “convenient and safe” as her and child’s health were prioritized. “Bilang isang magulang, napakalaking tulong sa akin ang isinagawang Remote Enrollment ng DepEd (As a parent, the remote enrollment of DepEd has been a very big help for us,)” she said.
The remote enrollment is teacher-led, thus, parents, guardians and learners do not need to go to the schools to enroll. They just need to wait in their homes and the teachers or the previous advisers of the children will contact the parents – via calls or text messages – and guide them on the process of enrollment.
Meanwhile, Maria Victoria Guanzon of Sagay City, a teacher from Negros Occidental, reminded parents and learners that there is no need to go to schools for enrollment.
While the coming school year will be challenging as the education system transitions into the “new normal,” Guanzon expressed hope that parents will allow their children to continue their studies.
Some school administrators also expressed their support on the ongoing virtual enrollment, which according to them “connected teachers and parents more.” For Dr. Maria Cristina Marasigan, Principal of Tagumpay National High School in Rodriguez, Rizal, since the remote enrollment is a “new experience” there are adjustments that need to be made. She also urged parents and learners to ensure continuity of learning using appropriate alternative learning modalities.
DepEd reminded that all learners who cannot enroll using any remote method will be allowed in the last two weeks of June to physically enroll, in strict compliance of physical distancing and health standards, and in coordination with the LGUs.