MANILA - The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday said 23.9 million students have enrolled for the coming school year as of August 31.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said this number is beyond their target enrollment rate for 2020-2021, which is only 80 percent of last year's 27 million enrollees.
"As of this morning, umabot na ng 23.9 million learners ang nag-enroll. Every day may humahabol," she said, adding that the current enrollment rate is at 86.8 percent of last year's numbers.
Briones also said enrollment in public schools is now at 97.33 percent of last year's enrollment, or 21.9 million enrollees.
Meanwhile, private school enrollees are at 1.89 million, or 43.98 percent of last year's enrollment rate.
DepEd earlier said they are projecting a lower number of enrollees this year compared to last year, as families continue to bear the economic brunt of the coronavirus pandemic.
Most of the country has been on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, with some "high-risk" areas such as Metro Manila placed under strict regulations to curb the spread of the illness.
The lockdown spawned a spike in unemployment figures, with government projecting more job losses by the end of the year, as the pandemic lingers.
Classes in public schools will resume on Oct. 5 as the Philippine education system shifts to distance learning.
Classes were supposed to open on Aug. 24, with students learning at home - either through online, tv, radio, or printed materials, to avoid possible exposure to COVID-19.