Public-school enrollment extended; DepEd reckons with lack of devices


By Samuel Medenilla and Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco

THE Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday announced it extended the enrollment period for public-school students up to July 15, amid projections of an exodus of students from private to public schools and the records so far showing only a little over half of last year’s number had enrolled online.

In an online press briefing, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said DepEd opted to implement a two-week extension in the enrollment deadline, which was supposed to end on June 30, 2020.

“The good news for parents, the enrollment has been extended until July 15 [2020],” Roque said.

Roque urged concerned parents to enroll their children before the new deadline.

“Let us not allow the education of our children to be interrupted even if there is Covid-19 [novel coronavirus disease],” Roque said.

He made the appeal after the Department of Education (DepEd) reported that only around 16 million students enrolled for the next school year.

As of 8 a.m. of June 30, the DepEd recorded a total of 15,907, 786 enrollees. Of the number, 672,403 are enrolled in private schools.

For private schools, DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said that they may still accept enrollees beyond June 30 as long as it is  “within the school calendar law.

For more information about the enrollment and the opening of school year (SY) 2020-2021, DepEd said that the public may visit  www.deped.gov.ph/obe-be.

Last year, 27 million students enrolled from kindergarten to Grade 12.

ICT equipment

As part of the preparations for online trainings and online classes for SY 2020-2021, a total of  532,637 ICT equipment were distributed in 93 percent of schools nationwide.

However, the DepEd said that providing laptops for each public school teacher would entail funding of P27 billion.

The DepEd said that 77,631 or 11 percent of the teachers do not have a desktop or laptop computer at home, as revealed by the Survey on Teachers’ Readiness for Distance Education undertaken by DepEd’s Planning Service from April 16 to 20,  2020.

The survey covered 689,329 teacher respondents.

“Applying that percentage to the total number of teachers nationwide, it can be estimated that 93,221 of the 847,467 teachers have no computer device,” the DepEd added.

Given that estimate, the DepEd said that it can already address the number of laptops and devices the department has at the moment.

“The direction is to provide a laptop for each teacher, and for this to become a reality, it will require about P27 billion of government funding.”

To date, DepEd has an inventory of the following IT devices distributed in 93 percent of schools nationwide: 124,939 standalone desktop computers, 99,548 laptops and 308,150 tablet PCs.

These IT equipment, delivered to the public schools via the DepEd Computerization Program (DCP) in the last five years, may already be issued, and teachers may borrow them for use in blended learning.

“However, it must be emphasized to everyone, that given the limited inventory, this measure is only a temporary solution for teachers without devices,” the DepEd stated.

Although DepEd recognizes and appreciates the fact that a considerable number of teachers use their own devices out of their own resources, they stressed that provision of government-issued laptops still remains the “responsibility of the State.”

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