Enrollment in K-12 surpasses pre-pandemic level — DepEd

Christian Deiparine - Philstar.com
Enrollment in K-12 surpasses pre-pandemic level â DepEd
Parents check the self-learning modules and books distributed at General Roxas Elementary School in Quezon City on Sept. 9, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education on Monday said there are now more than 28.21 million students enrolled in the K-12 system, with the turnout exceeding that in the school year before the coronavirus pandemic. 

The figure — 28,219,623 to be exact, is against the 27,790,114 in School Year 2019 to 2020, according to DepEd's quick count.

In the first school year under distance learning, enrollment was down by 990,378, with the total at 26.79 million. The 28.21 million this year is 107.6% of the rate in 2020. 

"We are happy with the turnout of enrollment this year," said Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan, "noting that we have surpassed last year's enrollment levels, overall and in nearly all regions as of September 18."

Cagayan Valley had the biggest increase in enrollment from the 914,822 last year to 1.11 million this 2021. 

Central Visayas and Caraga follow in the list of regions with the highest change in turnout, along with Northern Mindanao and Mimaropa. 

But while the national enrollment rate crossed pre-pandemic level, the picture is different in the private sector.

The latest count showed 21.60 million students are in public schools, and 1.99 million are in private schools against the 4.3 million in 2019. 

Last year, DepEd said 865 private institutions were forced to suspend operations with few to no enrollees at all. 

Enrollment in the agency's Alternative Learning System has also remained low. The count showed only 202,603 students, or 33.80% of last year's 599,365. 

DepEd said it would continue to accept late enrollment until September 30. But it added the next release of enrollment figures would be already by end-October, as it said it would begin updating student profiles. 

Classes in the Philippines officially began anew on September 13. Distance learning remains the setup with still no decision from President Rodrigo Duterte on a pilot run for in-person classes. 

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