ACT-CIS party-list Representative Jocelyn Tulfo on Sunday called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to extend its online, remote, and dropbox enrollment until July 15.
In a statement, Tulfo expressed concern that millions of students would be forced to drop out if the deadline for enrollment remained on June 30.
As of June 27, more than 15 million students had registered in public schools, including those in the Alternative Learning System. But Tulfo pointed out that this was way lower than the 27 million students who were enrolled last school year.
"Nangangamba po ako na kung tatapusin na agad ng DepEd ang enrollment sa June 30, milyung-milyong mga bata ang magda-drop out o titigil sa pag-aaral sa darating na school year," she said.
"Sa K to 12 pa lamang iyan. Hindi pa kasama ang milyong iba pa na baka tumigil sa pag-aaral dahil sa kawalan ng trabaho at pagbagsak ng mga negosyo," she added.
If millions of students dropped out of school, Tulfo said there could be a crisis in education which could span many years.
This could mean more poverty for Filipino families and cause a "severe blow" to the country's economy.
"Millions of college dropouts would erase much of the free tertiary education gains achieved prior to the pandemic. The human resource impact on business and industries would be felt just months from now, worsening the unemployment situation," Tulfo said.
"Failing to help the education sector now would have a crippling impact on our economy and it could ripple through decades and generations," she added.
Due to the threat of COVID-19, the DepEd decided to resume classes through distance learning, in which students would not have to go to school to participate in classes to avoid possible transmission of the virus.
It also removed around 60% of the curriculum to adjust for the remote learning approach this coming school year, which was scheduled to start on August 24.
The department has been preparing for ways to deliver education to students through self-learning modules, broadcast media, and the internet. — DVM, GMA News