BY Noel Talacay
THE Education Department yesterday said all public schools in the country will accept enrollees until September as long as students are qualified.
As of yesterday, 20,220,507 students have enrolled in public and private schools, including State Universities and Colleges nationwide. Of the number, 1,050,437 are enrolled in private schools and SUCs and 19,145,129 are in public schools.
DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali said under a department order, a “school may accept late enrollees provided that the learner will be able to meet eighty percent (80%) 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.”
He added the enrollment period that started last June and extended up to yesterday, July 15, was meant to get additional information through the learner enrollment survey form.
DepEd said there are 323,524 students in the country who transferred from private to public schools, 202,345 transferees in elementary, 82,230 in junior high school, 32,455 in senior high school, and 6,494 in Learners with Disability (non-graded).
The number of incoming students for the current schoolyear is down by a whopping seven million compared to 27.2 million the year before.
Briones, speaking at the Laging Handa public briefing’s presentation of President Duterte’s pre-State of the Nation Address, said the scheduled opening of classes in five weeks will not be deferred even us concerns linger over health risks in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have always said education must continue and our learners cannot wait. As early as April, we have already developed learning continuity. Classes in basic education will start on August 24,” Briones stressed.
Answering questions about the inability of some parents to provide online link and internet-capable phones, gadgets or laptops to their children, the DepEd Secretary clarified that under the blended learning system that will be used, the lack of such gadgets has been addressed.
“We are not insisting that they go online. There are other means. We have the televisions, the radio and we have printed materials that we can distribute these students through the help of our local government units,” she explained. – With Peter Tabingo