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Parents Urged: Enroll Your Children This School Year

Parents Urged: Enroll Your Children This School Year
In this photo taken on Aug. 6, 2020 by The Philippine STAR’s Edd Gumban, faculty members of the Saint Francis of Assisi College in Las Piñas City orient their high school students on the process of virtual campus in preparation for their online classes.

Malacañang urged parents on Monday, Aug. 16, to enroll their children for the coming school year, noting the possibility of returning to face-to-face classes once the country achieves population protection against COVID-19.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the government does not expect the number of enrollees in public schools to go down despite distance learning difficulties.

“We hope that parents will want the education of their children to continue despite the pandemic. Also, if you don’t enroll and we already have population protection, you may not be able to participate in face-to-face (classes),” he said at a press briefing.

“Because the President just wants to have enough population to be vaccinated and maybe we will also try face-to-face (classes). So, let’s enroll, it’s not blended learning forever, this pandemic also has an end,” he added.

Roque said as of Aug. 15, more than 12 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The government aims to vaccinate at least 50 percent of the 110 million total population this year.

The Department of Education (DepEd) opened on Monday the enrollment for school year 2021-2022.

The enrollment period will last until the school opening of remote learning on Sept. 13, which President Duterte approved.

However, face-to-face classes will remain prohibited due to the threat of COVID-19, according to DepEd.

Some private schools have already started their online classes.

In DepEd Order No. 029, series of 2021, the school year will kick off on Sept. 13 and end on June 24, 2022, for a total of 209 school days, inclusive of Saturdays and the five-day midyear break.

According to the guidelines, the conduct of face-to-face classes, whether partial or full-scale, will still not be allowed unless permitted by the President.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier said “the department had to find ways to keep the learning process going despite the challenges and uncertainty posed by COVID-19 while maintaining the health, safety and well-being of learners and teachers.”

“The assurance of vaccines to all, including school-age children, is not guaranteed. However, education must continue to give hope and contribute to the normalization of activities in the country and facilitate the development of our learners and the restoration of normalcy in their lives,” she added.

Regional offices are instructed to enhance the implementation of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan, including maximizing the use of DepEd TV and radio-based instruction to lessen reliance on printed modules, encouraging the return of learners who did not enroll last year and ensuring equitable distribution of teachers’ workload following the standards set in the Magna Carta for Public School teachers.

Meanwhile, the Alternative Learning System (ALS) learning intervention will also formally open on Sept. 13, while the program duration will depend on the learner’s educational background or existing knowledge level before enrolling in the ALS program.