Enrollment dip disappoints QC mayor Belmonte

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2022 12:39 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2022 12:52 PM

Classes begin at the Payatas B Elementary School in Quezon City on the first day of face-to-face classes in all levels, August 22, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Classes begin at the Payatas B Elementary School in Quezon City on the first day of face-to-face classes in all levels, August 22, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday said she was "disappointed" that enrollment for the new year school year in the city has decreased by about 40,000.

Belmonte said the city government was expecting about 460,000 students to return to school after 2 years of distance learning.

"But we had about 415,000 to 420,000. So, there's a shortage of 40,000 children," she said in an interview with ANC's "Headstart." 

The mayor said she asked authorities to find out whether the children moved to the provinces or dropped out of school. 

"I do not want them to be dropouts, I would like them to be brought back to school," she said. 

Belmonte added that the Schools Division Office was still "expecting late enrollees."

"They say it’s really part of the Filipino culture to enroll late. Huwag daw po muna ako magalit sa kanila na mababa ang enrollment (they said I should not get mad about the low enrollment). Let's give it a few more weeks," she said. 

Despite reports of overcrowding and shortage of classrooms, Belmonte said the opening of School Year 2022-2023 in the city was "generally peaceful and orderly, except for a "lightning rally" that took place in President Corazon C. Aquino Elementary School. 

She said police had to disperse the demonstrators after children and parents got "frightful".

For the new school year, Belmonte said about 81 schools are ready for 5-days of face-to-face classes, while 77 others are slowly transitioning to in-person instruction.

However, there are 8 schools that will not be able to hold face-to-face classes by Nov. 2 due to classroom shortage, she said.

One of those schools, Belmonte said, is the Batasan Hills National High School, where some 19,000 students are enrolled so far.

Although most schools have implemented class shifting schedules and blended learning, the mayor said the city still lacks about 339 classrooms. The shortage reaches about 3,000 if schools only implement 1 shift per class, she added.

Belmonte said the city government allowed a maximum of 40 students per classroom. 

"Otherwise, learning will further deteriorate," she said.

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