DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said Monday said the majority of the students want to enroll for the upcoming school year 2020-2021 amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In a virtual press conference for Brigada Eskwela/Oplan Balik Eskwela, Briones said initial reports showed students want to continue their studies, even via face-to-face classes combined with online learning.
“For the early registration, there are 1.4 million students who already said they want to go back to the school system. And even before the start of formal enrollment, certain regions are reporting they already attained 75% of their target enrollment number,” Briones said.
“Kumbaga sa eroplano, overbooked na. Marami pang nagi-indicate na gusto nilang magpa-reserve, mag-enroll, and this only shows that we highly value education,” she added.
“We have been saying that the decision to go back to school will be up to the parents because they know what is best for their children. The parents, learners have spoken,” she said.
“We will humbly obey and follow,” Briones added.
DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan, meanwhile, said that schools should not limit the number of enrollees they will accept.
He gave the case of Lakan Dula High School in Manila, which rejected some new students since the school already exceeded its 1,300 enrollees’ limit.
“Enrollment is not on a first-come, first-served basis. Hindi po ganoon ang sistema [that is not the system]. Ang order po ni Secretary, i-enlist po muna lahat [the Secretary’s order was to enlist everyone], and DepEd will take care of the organization of the classes at a later time,” Malaluan said.
“Titignan po muna natin. Once we know for sure [ilan ang enrollees], we will adjust. Kasi meron rin naman pong schools na kakaunti ang enrollment, meron rin na mas marami [ngayon], we can have allocation adjustments,” he added.
(We will check first. Once we know how many the enrollees are, we will adjust. Because have some schools with low enrollment, and some have many. We can have allocation adjustments.)
He also said DepEd would respect if parents would not enroll their children amid COVID-19 threats.
“Sa bandang huli, igagalang natin ang desisyon ng mga magulang sa kabila nito [in the end, we will respect the parents’ decision],” Nepomuceno said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.