MANILA — More than 250,000 learners have transferred to public elementary and high schools from private schools and state universities and colleges (SUCs) offering basic education, the Department of Education said Wednesday.
According to DepEd data, 250,539 learners from elementary to senior high school, including non-graded students, have enrolled in public schools as of Tuesday.
The transferees are broken down as follows:
- 148,852 elementary students
- 69,851 junior high school students
- 26,138 senior high school students
- 5,698 non-graded learners with disabilities
Excluding transferees from SUCs, 233,257 are from private schools, Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the low enrollment in private schools was due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the income of parents.
"Sa pagdagok, pagbagsak ng ating economy... natamaan talaga nang husto ang private sector because they charge tuition and some of them charge additional fees," she said in a virtual press briefing.
(With the impact on the economy... the private sector is really affected because they charge tuition and some of them charge additional fees.)
"If jobs will be restored, if people will start to work again, then they will have more confidence in enrolling their children in the private schools," she said.
Tuition in public schools is free.
The education chief added that some parents chose to have their children homeschooled instead of enrolling them in regular school.
The report on homeschooled children is not yet complete, Briones said.
Another factor, Briones noted, was that private schools and SUCs have different dates for their enrollment period and school opening.
As of Wednesday morning, 17.9 million have enrolled in public schools while more than 894,000 have registered in private schools.
Briones earlier said she expects the figure in private schools to go up in the coming weeks since most educational institutions would start enrollment in July and August.
The last day of enrollment in public schools, meanwhile, is on July 15.
Classes in public schools are scheduled to open on August 24 while private schools are allowed to start earlier upon securing the approval of DepEd regional directors.
Some 27 million learners were enrolled in the last school year.