MANILA - Some 3 million K-12 students have yet to enroll for the upcoming academic year, the Department of Education said Monday, a week before the start of classes in public schools.
Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said the department was still trying to convince the parents of unenrolled students to register their children.
"Kung pagbabasehan natin 'yong last year's enrollment [figure], mayroon pa tayo natitira na 2 million or 3 million [na hindi pa nage-enrol]," Mateo said in a virtual press briefing.
(If we will base it in the enrollment figure last year, we still have 2 million or 3 million who have yet to enroll.)
"Ang ginagawa po natin, patuloy pa rin ang kampanya natin sa tulong ng local government units at media, na makumbinsi ang mga magulang na pag-aralin ang kanilang mga anak," he added.
(What we're doing is we continue our campaign with the help of local government units and the media to convince parents to enroll their children.)
Latest data from the DepEd showed that 24.6 million learners have registered for School Year 2020 to 2021, which will see the implementation of distance learning in schools due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the figure, 22.46 million learners are in public schools while 2.14 million in private schools.
More than 27 million students were enrolled last year.
This year also saw over 398,000 private school students transfer to public schools, which DepEd officials have attributed to the pandemic's effects on the income of Filipinos.
Mateo said the current enrollment figure was a testament that millions of parents are convinced with the "menu of options" that the DepEd was offering to ensure the continuity of learning during the pandemic.
The DepEd earlier said it would accept late enrollees until November as long as students could attend 80 percent of the total class days for the academic year.
In August, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan told senators that the department would prepare interventions for those who would not enroll this year.
Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio has said those who would not enroll this year can register in the Alternative Learning System, which caters to those who cannot enter the formal education system.