250k private students shift to public schools

Nearly 251,000 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.

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DepEd data showed 250,539 learners from elementary to senior high school, including non-graded students, had enrolled in public schools – where tuition is free – as of Tuesday.

The transferees are 148,852 elementary students; 69,851 junior high school students; 26,138 senior high school students, and 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.

She told 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.”

Briones said some parents chose to have their children home-schooled 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 expected 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.

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Topics: Department of Education , Students , COVID-19 , Leonor Briones , Jesus Mateo
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