School Opening Data Shows COVID Hit, Learners' Grit: Sec. Briones

The enrollment rate exceeded expectations.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

Private school enrollments were halved from the previous year, while public school enrollments matched the 2019 turnout. Data from the Oct. 5 school opening showed the depth of the economic crisis that was borne out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are 24.7 million learners in the 2020-2021 school year, equivalent to 89% of the 2019 figure. This exceeded the 80% forecast enrollment rate of the National Economic Development Authority, Education Sec. Leonor Briones said.

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Of the total, 22.5 million are in public schools and 2.1 million are in private schools. The private school enrollment rate is 52% of the 2019 total, Briones said. Who stopped schooling? Those in alternative learning systems and private schools and working students, she said.

"We will not allow COVID-19 to destroy our children's education," said Briones, a former National Treasurer.

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DepEd's Facebook channel had 1.5 million viewers on the first day of online classes. These had 371,000 engagements, she said. The 24.7 million learners for the school year also underscore the commitment of parents to their children's education.

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