ENROLMENT. Teachers of Rizal Central School (RCS) in Tacloban City check enrollment documents in this July 28, 2022 photo. At least 514,383 elementary and high school learners in Eastern Visayas have signed up for the new school year during the first week of enrollment, the Department of Education reported on Monday (Aug. 1, 2022). (Photo courtesy of RCS)

TACLOBAN CITY – At least 514,383 elementary and high school learners in Eastern Visayas have signed up for the new school year during the first week of enrolment, the Department of Education reported on Monday.

The number represents 39 percent of the 1.31 million actual number of students from kindergarten to senior high school recorded during the academic year 2021 to 2022, said DepEd regional information officer Jazmin Calzita in a phone interview.

“About 90 percent of public and private schools have submitted their data for the quick count since the start of enrollment on July 25. We still have 3 more weeks to go before the school opening om August 22,” Calzita told the Philippine News Agency.

The DepEd released the data on Monday in time for the launching of this year’s National “Brigada Eskwela” as part of its preparations for the incoming school year 2022-2023.

For the upcoming school year, the department started conducting physical enrollment process with options for remote enrollment, according to Calzita.

The enrolment administered in-person is permitted while observing minimum health and safety standards, including the wearing of facemasks, temperature checks upon entry, availability of alcohols, and physical distancing to avoid the spread of the virus.

Schools can also facilitate remote enrollment by having parents/legal guardians or the learners fill out digital forms and send them through the official email address of the school or through any of the available messaging platforms provided.

Meanwhile, Calzita said all schools in the region are ready for the face-to-face classes except in Southern Leyte areas badly affected by Typhoon Odette last December 2021 and in some parts of Baybay City and Abuyog, Leyte struck by massive landslide last April this year.

“Only schools greatly affected by destructive typhoons will be adopting blended learning. Almost all of our schools are ready. In fact, last school year, public schools that implemented face to face classes have already reached 98 percent,” Calzita added.

According to a recent directive, there will be no inspections, tools, or any additional requirements to reopen schools and implement five days of in-person classes.

Calzita explained that the DepEd only prescribed the options of five days in-person classes, blended learning modality, and full distance learning until Oct. 31 this year.

Starting Nov. 2, all public and private schools will have to transition to five days of in-person classes.

No school will be allowed to implement purely distance learning or blended learning except for those implementing alternative delivery modes as provided in a department order issued in 2019. (PNA)