The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday, March 1, clarified that only 1.1 million learners were not able to enroll at the basic education level this school year.
DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Mateo, in an interview over DZRH, said that based on the latest enrollment data for School Year (SY) 2020-2021, there are already 26.6 million enrollees for both private and public schools.
“Based on our actual number, our data shows there are only about 1.1 learners who did not enroll this school year,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Based on the data provided by Mateo, the total enrollment at the basic education level for this school year – as of Jan. 15, 2021 – is 26, 657, 411. This, he explained, is already “95.92 percent” of the enrollment in SY 2019-2020 at 27.7 million.
Currently, Mateo noted that there are 22.7 million enrollees in public schools alone. “We have 97 percent or 22.05 million of these learners are purely from public schools,” he explained.
In private schools, latest DepEd enrollment data showed that there are 3.3 million enrollees. “We have at least 656,000 or three percent of that 22 million in private schools, these are those who transferred,” Mateo explained.
Mateo also made this clarification following the result of a survey released by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) on Feb. 24 noting that 13 percent or an estimated 4.4 million school-aged Filipinos are currently not enrolled in school.
The said SWS survey conducted nationwide among 1,500 respondents on Nov. 21-25, 2020 also noted that 87 percent of five- to 20-year-old Filipinos or 29.8 million are currently enrolled in school.
However, Mateo said that DepEd is also looking into the result of the SWS survey and comparing it to the actual enrollment data that the agency currently has.
“Our age school age group from Kinder to Grade 12 is from five years old to 17 years old,” he explained. “There are also those who are accepted in various grade levels even if they are over aged,” he added.
Mateo noted that the data from DepEd also has to be compared with the population data from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). “Our data is also encoded in our Learner Information System (LIS),” he explained.
Meanwhile, Mateo said that the number of dropouts cannot be identified yet at this time. “Dropouts are usually computed at the end of the school year,” he added.
“It’s hard to say [how many dropouts we have] because we cannot consider those who transferred out from private schools and went to public schools as such,” Mateo explained.
Compared to the enrollment when classes started in October 2020 at 25, 035, 660, DepEd’s latest enrollment data showed 6.48 percent increase or 1, 621, 751 enrollees. There were also notable increases per sector based on the October 2020 vs February 2021 enrollment.
In public schools, an increase of 1.64 percent (366,250) in enrollment – from 22, 346, 159 to 22, 712, 409 – was reported. In private schools, there was a 51.76 percent (1,151,305) increase in enrollment from 2, 224, 443 to 3, 375, 748. In State Universities and Colleges/Local Universities and Colleges (SUCs/LUCs), there was a 100.59 percent increase (59,551) from 59,204 to 118,755. There was also a 6.05 percent (24, 545) increase in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program from 405, 854 to 430,399.