Department of Education

DepEd Central Visayas: 2.2-million enrollment goal for 2023 not yet reached

John Sitchon

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DepEd Central Visayas: 2.2-million enrollment goal for 2023 not yet reached

OPENING. Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, the regional director of the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd 7), said that the regional office is processing 100,000 enrollments on average per day during the Brigada Eskwela.

John Sitchon/Rappler

As of August 23, the Department of Education in Central Visayas has almost 1.5 million enrollees—around 700,000 enrollees short of the agency’s 2.2-million goal

CEBU, Philippines – Less than a week before the start of classes, Salustiano Jimenez, the regional director of the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd 7), said that the agency has yet to reach its goal of 2.2 million enrollees for school year 2023 – 2024.

The official start of classes this school is on Tuesday, August 29. This is in accordance with Republic Act 11480, which mandates that the opening of classes shall begin not earlier than the first day of June and not later than the last day of August.

“As of [Wednesday evening, August 23], our enrollment is already almost 1.5 million or exactly 1,488,000 [for public schools],” Jimenez said in a press conference on Thursday, August 24,

For private schools, the enrollment count was at 186,000. For state universities and colleges (SUCs), the number of enrolled students was around 2,000, while Alternative Learning System (ALS) institutions are at least 6,500.

According to the regional director, most of the enrollment data has already been logged online in the department’s Learner’s Information System (LIS), and they are awaiting data from schools in the far-flung and other isolated communities that may have internet connectivity problems.

“Encoding is ongoing, and their records won’t be counted yet if it’s not in the system,” Jimenez said in Cebuano.

On average, the regional office records 100,000 enrollees per day.

Missing classrooms

On Wednesday, August 23, DepEd reported that the country lacked 159,000 classrooms for the upcoming school year.

Jimenez said that in Central Visayas there were less than a thousand classrooms that were still not yet repaired from the damage caused by Typhoon Odette.

“Our concern in the Department of Education in terms of infrastructure is like quicksand. Once we’ve repaired one classroom, a typhoon comes in, and we lack classrooms again,” the regional director said.

Jimenez clarified that they cannot yet give an exact count of the number of classrooms needed because the number of dilapidated school structures fluctuates for every annual survey.

As of this writing, Rappler was still waiting for a reply from DepEd to explain the classroom deficit despite the agency receiving large amounts of cash in its first year with Vice President Sara Duterte as head.

Balik Eskwela

As for preparations, the regional director said that they have collaborated with government and non-government agencies in equipping and prepping classrooms during the opening of classes.

“Other agencies go to check the schools and they find that new paint is needed, they are also willing to provide for the Brigada Eskwela,” Jimenez said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

The regional director added that they have also started procuring and printing learning modules which will be distributed to help teachers in their reading and writing lessons.

According to Jimenez, a total of P141 million has been allocated for the printing of said modules.

Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) desks have also been set up in every school in Central Visayas. These serve as assistance centers for parents and guardians during the student’s enrollment process.

For the upcoming opening of classes, division offices under DepEd 7 have been required to submit plans for security measures to ensure the safety of students and staff. Jimenez said that they will be coordinating with police and local officials on this. –

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