Despite the low enrollment turnout for this upcoming school year, the Department of Education (DepEd) expressed optimism that the number of students will “further increase” since schools are allowed to take in late enrollees.
After the extended enrollment period ended on July 15, DepEd national data showed that there are 20.74 million students who enrolled for school year 2020-2021 or 74.6 percent of SY 2019-2020 enrollment turnout. Of this, 19.62 million enrolled in public schools or 86.9 percent of last year’s enrollment. There are also 1.09 million students enrolled in private schools or 25.3 percent of SY 2019-2020’s enrollment.
“Based on data it is low,” DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said. However, he clarified that this is “not final count as we allow late enrollees.”
Based on DepEd Order No. 13, Series of 2018, Mateo said that a school may accept late enrollees provided that the student will be able to meet eighty percent (80 percent) of the prescribed number of school days for each school year and the quarterly requirement to pass the grade level as governed by the latest existing applicable DepEd issuances. “This means that it is possible enrollment will increase further,” he added.
Since school opening was moved from June to August due to the COVID-19 situation in the country, Mateo said late enrollment may be allowed in schools “until last week of September.”
As a long-standing policy, DepEd said that public schools cannot deny students who wish to enroll.
“If the learner cannot meet the required number of school days and the quarterly requirement, the school head may exercise his or her discretion to accept the enrollee and implement catch-up activities or interventions under acceptable circumstances,” it added.
In order to ensure learning continuity despite the health crisis, DepEd developed its Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) in which alternative learning delivery modalities will be used. In addition to online learning, students’ self-learning modules, TV, and radio-based instruction will also be used in learning when classes start on Aug. 24.
During a pre-SoNA briefing on July 15, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said that a total of P10.91 billion was allotted for DepEd’s BE-LCP program to “ensure educational continuity in this time of crisis by adopting multiple learning delivery modes such as distance learning and blended learning, among others, while ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of all learners, teachers, and personnel.”