No order for teachers to visit communities to boost enrollment figures: DepEd

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 02 2020 04:25 PM

Parents submit the “Learner Enrollment Survey Form” of their children in a drop box at the Rosauro Almario Elementary School in Tondo, Manila on Tuesday. The Department of Education announced on Monday evening the implementation of the ‘drop box’ system located in schools and barangay halls where parents may submit enrollment documents to supplement the ongoing remote enrollment for the incoming school year. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Education denied Thursday reports that teachers in the provinces were asked to visit communities to convince parents to enroll their children for the coming school year.

On Wednesday, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers said DepEd issued such instruction in response to the "underwhelming" enrollment turnout.

ACT said it received complaints from the Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao regions, and provinces of Albay, Aurora, Catanduanes, Cebu, Isabela, and Surigao del Sur.

School heads supposedly ordered teachers "to conduct house-to-house visits to their students in order to meet the demands of the [DepEd] since the preparation of this school year commenced."

"Upon checking with field units, this claim by this group has been found to be false and without factual basis," the DepEd said in a statement.

The DepEd also denied that teachers were given an "enrollment quota."

As of Thursday, 17.3 million learners have enrolled in public and private schools nationwide, according to DepEd data.

Enrollment in public schools began June 1 through remote means, such as text messaging, phone calls or social media communication because of the continuing virus risk.

On June 16, the DepEd opened a "drop box system" of enrollment.

The enrollment period in public schools was supposed to end on June 30 but the education department extended the deadline to July 15.

Education officials have said they are projecting a lower number of enrolled learners this year compared to last year's 27 million due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.