Around 3.3 million students are still “missing” or have yet to enroll weeks before the formal school opening on Oct. 5, latest enrollment data from the Department of Education (DepEd) released Thursday showed.

DEPED123 - 3.3 M students have yet to enroll this school year — DepEd
(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

National enrollment data as of Sept. 17 showed that enrollment in both public and private schools for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 has reached 24.49 million or 88.19 percent of the SY 2019-2020 enrollment.

Of this number, 22.33 million students comprising of 98.95 percent of last school year’s enrollment turnout are in public schools. In private schools, 2.10 million or 48.79 percent of last school year’s enrollment have enrolled.

In SY 2019-2020, DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said that the total number of enrollment is 27,790,114 in all sectors and level of education for both formal and informal systems, including Philippine schools overseas.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that the DepEd is offering a parallel learning system to the existing formal instruction called Alternative Learning System (ALS) for the growing number of out-of-school youth (OSY) amid the pandemic.

Briones noted that those who have yet to enroll “may still do so since schools were directed to accept late enrollees” until November.

“The link of the state of the economy and the COVID destruction is also very clear because the reduction in enrollment of learners is largely in the private sector,” Briones said. However, she noted that these have been already responded to especially with the opening of the economy.

As the enrollment in private schools is slowly increasing, Briones admitted that “we still have to work even harder because right now we have just below 50 percent of last year’s enrollment of private school learners.”

Despite the relatively lower enrollment this school year, Briones noted it is not much about the “growing” number of out-of-school youth but how it is now slowing down now. “This is really stopping or even eliminating (it) with the challenge of migration and challenge of out-of-the-school youth,” she added.

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