MANILA — The Department of Education said Thursday it was expecting a possible decrease in enrollment for the coming school year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"That's a possibility, of decrease kasi maraming considerations ang mga magulang," Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said in a virtual press briefing.
(That's a possibility, of decrease because parents have many considerations.)
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said she would respect the decision of the parents if they choose not to send their children to schools this year.
Some children may not enroll since parents might not be able to facilitate their learning at home, according to Malaluan.
Schools will be implementing distance learning as an alternative to face-to-face classes, which have been discouraged to avoid exposure to the coronavirus disease.
"'Yong pag-aaral ngayon, lalo na kung early grades, will require the partnership with the parents or somebody from the home. Can they provide that?" he said.
(Studying now, especially in the early grades, will require the partnership with the parents or somebody from the home. Can they provide that?)
Some parents may also be doubting whether children could learn their lessons effectively through alternative modes, Malaluan said.
The DepEd has set the enrollment period in public elementary and high schools throughout June. The agency urged schools to conduct enrollment through remote methods.
For School Year 2019 to 2020, over 27 million K-12 students were enrolled in public and private schools, state universities and colleges, and Philippine schools overseas, data from the DepEd showed.
Several groups have called for the suspension of classes until a vaccine against the new coronavirus was made available in the country.