MANILA — Some 15.2 million learners have registered in public schools, data from the Department of Education showed on Tuesday morning, just as government announced an extension of the enrollment period supposed to end on June 30.
Of the figure, Calabarzon recorded the highest number of enrolled learners with 2.2 million, followed by the National Capital Region with 1.7 million, according to data as of 8 a.m.
Central Luzon had the third highest with 1.6 million, followed by Western Visayas and Central Visayas, which each recorded 1 million enrolled learners.
Around 22 million were enrolled in public schools last year.
Data also showed that 672,403 have enrolled in private schools.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones has said she expected the figure to go up in the coming weeks as most private schools would start enrollment in July and August.
It was the first time that DepEd carried out a month-long enrollment for all levels in public schools, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said as he explained that there was no comparison to figures from the previous year.
Malaluan earlier said the DepEd was expecting a possible decrease in enrollment for the coming school year, scheduled to start on August 24, with the shift to remote enlistment and online schooling because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A group of private schools, meanwhile, said millions of their students might transfer to public schools or drop out as the pandemic has left families with budgetary constraints.
The DepEd started enrollment in public schools through remote means, such as texting, phone calls or social media messaging.
The agency opened a "drop box enrollment" system on June 16.
Schools will use online portal, printed and digital modules, radio, and television to deliver lessons to students this coming school year after in-person classes were suspended due to the threat of COVID-19.