Education and Home

Student population soars to ‘historic’ 27.7 M

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Student population soars to âhistoricâ 27.7 M
San Fernando police help clean up the grounds of San Agustin (Poro) Elementary School in San Fernando, La Union as part of their participation in this week’s Brigada Eskwela.
Bernardo Batuigas

MANILA, Philippines — Over 27.7 million students are projected to enroll in public and private basic education institutions across the country this year, the highest in history, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

Data released by the DepEd this week showed that the projected student enrolment in public schools is at 23.5 million, higher than last year’s 22.9 million. 

In private schools, enrollment is expected to slightly increase to 4.1 million from last year’s four million.

Another 152,000 are expected to enroll in state and local colleges and universities that offer basic education programs.

Overall, an increase of around 700,000 is seen in the enrolment in basic education programs this school year, with officials attributing it to the rising population, mandatory implementation of the kindergarten program and the extensive efforts of the DepEd to reach out-of-school youth.

Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said the figures could further increase if enrolment in non-formal education programs such as the Alternative Learning System is taken into account.

Based on the project enrollment data, almost 13.9 million pupils will enroll in elementary programs, while another 8.2 million students will be in junior high school.

Enrolment in kindergarten is expected to hit almost three million, while senior high schools will have over 2.8 million students.

Brigada Eskwela

Meanwhile, the DepEd this week formally kicked off the annual Brigada Eskwela to prepare public schools nationwide for the opening of classes next week.

Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali said they expect the value of donations and man-hours rendered by volunteers this year to exceed last year’s almost P5.4 billion.

Over the years, he noted that the value of support for Brigada Eskwela has continuously increased, from just a few million pesos when it started 15 years ago to P3.6 billion in 2015 and P4.7 billion in 2016.

The number of volunteers has also increased in past years, from 11.6 million in 2016 to 12 million in 2017.

“We all know that not everything we need in our schools are provided for in the General Appropriations Act,” Umali said.

“But because of Brigada, our schools, classrooms and facilities are a lot better,” he added.

Brigada Eskwela aims to encourage the Filipino community to take on a direct role in the education of the youth.

Partnerships, however, should not be limited during the maintenance week, noting that engagement can happen all throughout the year, according to Umali.

 “The concept of partnering with our community, parents and all our stakeholders to ensure quality basic education for all our children should not be construed to be achieved in just one week. It should be the entire year,” he said.


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