The total enrollment in public schools for School Year 2020-2021 has reached 98.85% of last year’s record, while private schools only have 48.32%, according to Department of Education (DepEd) data.
Based on the data shared by DepEd Undersecretary Jess Mateo to GMA News Online, 22.31 million students have enrolled in public schools and 2.08 million have registered in private schools.
“The response to public sector education is quite impressive,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a press conference on Monday.
“We have already 22,240,731 enrollees. This is 98.5% of last year’s enrollment considering that we are struggling, engaging the impacts of COVID as well as the downturn of the economy,” she added.
Amid the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected many livelihoods, a total of 398,933 students from private schools have transferred to public schools.
“The link with the state of the economy, not only the COVID disruption, is also very clear because the reduction of enrollment of learners is largely in the private sector,” Briones said.
Briones also said around 800 small private schools have suspended their operations in the coming school year.
“We are very concerned about the inability of very small private schools to continue operating,” Briones said.
However, Briones expressed optimism that the situation in private schools will improve considering the gradual reopening of the economy.
Briones said that the total enrollment in all schools already reached 24.3 million, which is 87.6% of last year's record.
“As of this morning, we already have a total of 24.3 million learners enrolled for both public, private, state university and colleges (SUCs), and local universities and colleges (LUCs),” the DepEd chief said.
"These learners constitute already 87.6 percent of last year's enrollment,” she added.
Due to the COVID-19 threat, the DepEd decided to resume classes through remote learning, where students do 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 moved from August 24 to October 5.
The department has been preparing for ways to deliver education to students through self-learning modules, broadcast media, and the internet. —KBK, GMA News