27m flock to schools

June 03, 2019
Students wait for their turn to go inside a classroom, while their parents watch outside a school in Manila during the opening of classes around the country. AFP

‘Same old problems’ welcome 27.2 million students on first day of school year 2019-2020.

THE Department of Education welcomed almost 27.2 million students nationwide at the opening of school year 2019-2020 on Monday.

“On behalf of the Department of Education (DepEd), I am honored and pleased to welcome our almost 27.2 million learners from all over the country to the opening of School Year 2019-2020!” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a statement.

The Education secretary urged students to remember that it took a whole community “to prepare you on this journey.”

Briones cited parents, teachers, local government units, national government agencies, non-government organizations, partners from the public and private sectors, and other stakeholders for their efforts in Brigada Eskwela to ensure classrooms were ready for school opening.

The “same old problems” of classroom, equipment and other shortages greeted the millions of learners who trooped back to their respective schools nationwide.

Briones visited the Signal Village National High School in Taguig City to personally monitor the opening of classes. She also visited the Comembo Elementary School in Makati City as part of the school opening activities.

Updated data on projected enrollment for SY 2019-2020 from the Office of the Undersecretary for Planning Service and Field Operations Jesus Mateo showed that 27, 216,398 learners are expected to go to both private and public schools across all basic education levels: 22, 839, 989 in public; 4, 217, 726 in private and 158, 683 in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs).

In public schools alone, there are 22, 839, 989 learners comprised of 2, 098, 627 Kinder; 12, 046, 842 elementary (Grades 1-6); 7,033, 527 Junior High School (JHS or Grades 7-10); and 1, 660, 993 Senior High School (SHS or Grades 11-12). The enrollment in public schools is 83.9 percent of the entire projected enrollment for this SY.

In private schools, which will open in the coming weeks, the expected enrollment is 4,217,726 with 231,143 enrollees in Kinder; 1,213,776 in Elementary; 1,431,117 in JHS and 1,341,690 in SHS. In SUCs/LUCs, expected enrollees are: 329 in Kinder; 10,980 in elementary; 62,411 in JHS and 84,963 in SHS.
Briones also said the DepEd is “increasing our efforts to deliver quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education.”

This includes continuous review of curriculum, developing learning resources including teachers through the National Educators Academy of the Philippines, and upgrading facilities to withstand typhoons and earthquakes.

“As we open another school year, I enjoin everyone who believes in the cause of education to work together and join us in responding to the increasing development requirements of our country, and in creating a better world for the Filipino learners whom we are all sworn to serve. Maligayang pagbabalik-eskwela!” Briones added.