Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment in public schools this school year exceeded that of last school year’s, data released by the Department of Education (DepEd) Wednesday said.

students - Enrollment in public schools exceeds 100% of last school year’s turnout – DepEd

As of Oct. 21, DepEd data on national enrollment showed that there are 22.71 million students enrolled in public schools for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 or “100.6 percent of SY 2019-2020 enrollment” at 22.5 million.

The current total enrollment for public and private schools on the basic education level is 24.98 million or 89.96 percent of SY 2019-2020’s enrollment. There are also 2.21 million enrollees in private schools or 51.39 percent of last school year’s enrollment.

Classes for this school year officially started last Oct. 5 for public schools. Private schools were allowed to start their school earlier than public schools as long as they were able to comply with the distance learning requirements of the DepEd.

During earlier press briefings, Education Secretary Leonor Briones reported that the department has already exceeded its target number of enrollees for this school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current enrollment figure, DepEd said, is higher than the 80 percent adjusted number which was assigned by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Of the 24.9 million enrollees for this school year, there are 1.7 million pupils enrolled in kindergarten; 11.9 million in elementary; 7.8 million in Junior High School (JHS); and 2.8 million in Senior High School (SHS).

There are also 73, 139 non-graded learners with disabilities enrolled and 405, 066 students under the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program.

DepEd said that national enrollment data also covers public and private schools as well as State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) which offer the SHS program.

The highest number of enrollees is from Region 4-A (Calabarzon) with 3.4 million followed by National Capital Region (NCR) with 2.6 million and Region 3 (Central Luzon) with 2.5 million.

As long as students will be able to complete 80 percent of the requirements of the program, DepEd said that late enrollees will still be accepted until November this year. Parents of students who have yet to enroll are enjoined by DepEd to coordinate with the concerned school for the late enrollment procedures.

Based on the latest enrollment data, 2.8 million students are still considered “unenrolled” compared to last school year’s enrollment turnout.

DepEd data showed that there 27.7 million enrollees in SY 2019-2020. Of this number, 22.5 million students were enrolled in public schools and 4.3 million enrolled were enrolled in private schools.

Due to the COVID-19 situation in the country, DepEd implemented a “remote enrollment” system nationwide so students can enroll without face-to-face interaction. In lieu of in-person classes, schools are implementing a distance and blended learning approach where students learn at home via printed and offline modules; online; and TV or radio-based instructions.

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