More than 26 million students from kindergarten to grade 12 are expected this school year given the shift to the K-12 education system, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Sunday.
"Projected kinder to grade 12, more or less 26,969,816 (students), public and private school," Education Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali said in a radio dzBB interview.
Umali said there was an 8.2-percent increase in enrollees this school year due to the new grade 12 level in the Philippine education system.
"Dahilan po niyan ay meron po tayong isang bagong taon, new year, grade 12," he said.
Umali also noted that other students who chose not to enroll in college decided to enroll in grade 12.
"'Yan ay pinaghahandaan po natin at iba pong bugso ng estudyante," he said.
In the same interview, Umali said the DepEd was given a total budget of P543 billion this year, enough to finance the needs of the agency.
"We have sufficient amount to construct more or less 47,000 classrooms at to hire 53,000 more or less teachers," Umali said.
Public school classes are set to resume on Monday, June 5. —Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/ALG, GMA News