Enrollment extended until July 15, Roque says
The Department of Education allowed enrollment through the drop box system starting June 16 to further minimize interaction and risk of transmission of the coronavirus.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Enrollment extended until July 15, Roque says

(Philstar.com) - June 30, 2020 - 3:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — Enrollment for the next school year has been extended until July 15, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday.

DepEd previously set enrollment for the next school year from June 1-30, but Roque, in a press briefing, said enrollment has been extended.

Roque also called on parents to not wait until July 15 to enroll learners in school and let the COVID-19 pandemic stop their children’s studies.

Schools are set to open on August 24, but face-to-face learning will not be held until a vaccine against COVID-19 has been found. Instead, the education department will employ distance learning that includes utilization of television, radio and internet.

Enrollment data

Citing information from Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Roque said DepEd data showed that there are 15.2 million learners enrolled in public schools while 672,403 learners are enrolled in private institutions.

The number of enrollees as of June 30 is millions below last year’s numbers. For the school year of 2019-2020, DepEd recorded more than 27 million enrolees from kindergarten to Grade 12. Over 22 million of them are in public schools.

RELATED: Enrollment still 13 million short of target – DepEd

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers, in a statement also Tuesday, said that the low enrolment turnout is a result of “DepEd’s stubborn decision to push through with a formal school year.”

They warned that this also reveals that the education department’s Learning Continuity Plan “is not attuned to the people’s current situation and is seen more as a burden than a tool to help families survive the crisis.” It may also deprived 10 million learners of education.

ACT stressed that the pandemic drastically changed the lives of the people, with livelihoods lost and transmission of the coronavirus still happening.

The group of teachers said they are pushing for “a temporary non-formal adaptive learning program” while the Philippines continues to battle the pandemic and the economy “has not sufficiently been revived.”

“It is fluid enough to take in students for continued learning when their families are ready, and can be closed whenever the country is ready to open a formal school year. Its adaptive characteristic sets its content to focus more on enabling our children to cope with the crisis and honing them to be positive forces in the country’s battle against the pandemic and graver crises it brought with it,” ACT added.

Connecting schools

President Rodrigo Duterte said in his latest report to Congress that DepEd is in the process of arranging internet connections for 7,000 public schools. “The target completion of the project, which costs P700 million will be in ten months,” Duterte told lawmakers.

Duterte also said that DepEd issued a memorandum that would allow teachers to bring home devices for use in distance learning that were purchased by the department. — Kristine Joy Patag with report from The STAR/Janvic Mateo

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