By Hannah Torregoza
Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones on Thursday disclosed that nearly 10 million basic education pupils have enrolled for School Year 2020-2021 under multiple learning modalities that the agency launched this year as it adjusts to a “new normal” due to the COVID-19.
In a virtual hearing conducted by the Senate committee on basic education, arts and culture chaired by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, Briones said a total of 9,961,396 students have enrolled in public and private schools across the country in the past eight days of enrolment.
Briones said the enrolment turnout is equivalent to 36.26 percent of the projected total number of students the DepEd is expecting this year from both private and public schools nationwide.
“The level of enrollment already achieved…it shows that the parents are cooperating, local governments are cooperating, teachers are cooperating in tracking the students,” Briones told senators during the hearing.
Briones, however, remained firm that there would be no face-to-face teaching and that they will require the use of technology to ensure learners would be able to continue their education.
She also said the DepEd reconfigured the “Brigada Eskwela” program to solicit desktops, cellphones and other gadgets for the students’ use, instead of ball pens, bond papers, chairs and other school equipment.
She said the gadgets that would be collected would be distributed to students who can’t afford to buy their own learning tools.
Meanwhile, the DepEd, will utilize radio and television in places where students do not have access to the Internet, aside from distributing learning modules through local government units.