MANILA (UPDATE) - An estimated 4.4 million school-age Filipinos (5-20 years old) were unenrolled as of November last year, according to a Social Weather Stations survey released Wednesday.
Of the 18-20 age group, 40 percent are not enrolled, while it is 15 percent for the 5-6 age group, 13 percent among the 16-17-year-olds, 4 percent for the 12-15 age group, and 3 percent for the 7-11 age group.
The survey, conducted nationwide among 1,500 Filipino adults last Nov. 21-25 using face-to-face interviews, did not get the reasons for their being unenrolled.
The Philippines shifted to blended distance learning mode beginning last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the 29.8 million school-age Filipinos found by the survey to be enrolled, 80% are participating in purely Modular Distance Learning (MDL), 14% in purely Online Distance Learning (ODL), 1% in purely Traditional Face-to-face Learning (F2F), and 0.1% in purely TV/Radio-Based Instruction.
The remaining 4 percent are using blended learning, majority of whom are into both MDL and ODL, and the remaining few, into F2F and MDL.
Participation in purely MDL is highest among elementary students (90 percent), followed by pre-primary students (87 percent), junior high school students (82 percent), senior high school students (64 percent), and college students (27 percent).
ODL is most popular among college students (65 percent), followed by senior high school students (25 percent), junior high school students (13 percent), and elementary and pre-primary students (6 percent each).
The survey showed that of those currently enrolled, the number is highest in the Visayas (88 percent), followed by Balance Luzon (87 percent), and Mindanao and Metro Manila at 86 percent each.
Official data from the Department of Education and pronouncements by the leadership of the Commission on Higher Education indicate that more than 28 million students are enrolled in the current school year.
President Rodrigo Duterte has twice rejected calls to resume face-to-face classes as the country has yet to receive coronavirus vaccines.