Target enrollment for incoming school year in Iloilo at 40 percent

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

The Department of Education-Division of Iloilo (DepEd-Iloilo) said on Sunday that enrollment in private and public schools in Iloilo province is still at 40 percent of target learners for the School Year (S.Y.) 2021-2022.

Based on the DepEd-Iloilo’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan, there are 4 “enrollment modes” which parents and learners can avail:

  • Online enrollment through links provided by the school;
  • Contacting learners’ previous adviser in S.Y. 2020-2021;
  • Enrollment hotlines or contact numbers provided by schools (mainly for transferees and entry-level [Grades 1, 7, and 11] learners); and
  • Printed copies of the Modified Learners’ Enrollment Survey Form (MLESF), which parents can get and submit through schools or satellite enrollment centers in barangays.

DepEd Department Order No. 32 issued by Secretary Leonor Briones on August 13 stated that enrollment should be remote in areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) or Modified ECQ.

Iloilo province has been under Modified ECQ since August 1.

DepEd-Iloilo information officer Leonil Salvilla told Aksyon Radyo Iloilo on Sunday that many parents and learners preferred to fill out the online enrollment forms.

But Salvilla added that as of August 20, enrollment in both public and private schools, from Kindergarten to Senior High School is at 121,849 learners or 40 percent of its target enrollees (500,000).

Regarding the exact number of public and private students, DepEd-Iloilo observed that in the previous school year, there have been increases in the number of those enrolled in public schools, and accordingly a decrease in private school.

This year, they still expect those numbers to remain, but the figures will become clearer as the enrollment draws to a close.

“We haven’t gotten the total number of enrollment so we can’t see that now, maybe we can see that towards the end of the enrollment period. But last year, we saw that enrollment in public schools have increased compared to that of private schools. With the same modality we are adopting for this year, we are expecting that the trend will more or less be the same,” Salvilla said.

Salvilla also said that based on their monitoring and reports submitted to them by schools, some learners were hesitant because of the difficulty of distance learning, especially those who may be far from their town centers.

Some even choose to stop school for a while to help their parents.

He admitted that the current enrollment process remains challenging because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Many teachers have been vaccinated through local government unit (LGU) support, but there was still a significant number which remained unvaccinated due to shortage of supply.

According to the Department of Health’s (DOH) COVID-19 Vaccination Prioritization Framework, teachers, along with social workers, are part of the B1 priority group, which have yet to be greenlit for vaccination.

Salvilla said that cooperation with multiple stakeholder sectors was key to making sure that they reach their enrollment targets and improve their delivery for the coming school year.

“We at the [DepEd], because we want every learner to continue their schooling, and as what [Secretary Briones] said, ‘Education must continue’ even amid the pandemic, we, together with the schools and teachers, are looking for ways to help learners and make sure that by the opening of [S.Y.] 2021-2022, they will participate. It is hard but our teachers are always there to provide assistance to learners so they can be ensured to continue learning,” he said.

The enrollment period for S.Y. 2021-2022, according to DepEd Department Order No. 029, series of 2021, will run from August 16 to September 13, the latter date being the official start date of classes.