64,411 already enrolled in public schools – DepEd

As of July 1, 2020, a total of 64,411 learners have already enrolled for School Year 2020-2021 in their respective public and private schools from Kindergarten to Senior High School in the province of Catanduanes, the Department of Education (DepEd) schools division office disclosed last week.

The total enrolment represents 77 percent of the 83,240 which enrolled for SY 2019-2020, DepEd Catanduanes’ information officer, Dr. Gina B. Pantino, said.

By sector, the enrolment is broken down as follows: public schools, 61,039 (79% of SY 2019-2020 actual enrolment); private schools, 536 (25%); State Universities and Colleges (SUC), 493 (67%); and, Alternative Learning System (ALS), 2,343 (72%).

The enrolment period has been extended until July 15 through the Dropbox Enrollment System at barangay halls where a kiosk manned by agency personnel will provide the parent or guardian the Learner Enrollment and Survey Form (LESF).

Modular distance learning is the primary mode to be used by DepEd Catanduanes in continuing the education of its pupils and students, following consultation with local government units.

While the department has pushed blended learning, including online classes, to be implemented during the opening of classes for SY 2020-2021 on Aug. 24, 2020, the problem continues to be the lack of wifi signals in many areas of the province as well as the fact that many pupils and students do not have appropriate ICT equipment.

Last June 30, DepEd issued a memorandum allowing the use of desktop computers, laptops, and tablet PCs in the inventory of public schools by teachers in the conduct of online trainings and classes during the pandemic.

According to an initial survey of learners and teachers as far as capability to participate in an online platform is concerned, only 28 percent of children and 64 percent of teachers have digital access.

The memorandum seeks to provide a laptop for each teacher, which will require about P27 billion in government funding.

In a press conference last June 2, Catanduanes schools division supervisor Dr. Danilo Despi said there is a need to acquire materials, especially gadgets like laptops, smartphones and internet access.

There will be no more usual Brigada Eskwela activities like repainting, he said, as the division needs donations of television sets, wifi, routers, laptops, disinfection liquids, foot baths, hand washing facilities, and washable face masks for pupils as well as cash assistance for the printing of modules.

As of this writing, the division has yet to disclose how the required materials for modular distance learning would be produced, considering the huge amount needed for printing the modules.

DepEd Catanduanes is still in the midst of preparing the modules from Kindergarten to Grade 10 and Senior High School, with the first quarter modules already completed.

The funding for the reproduction of the modules will depend on the number of enrollees, with DepEd Central Office to issue guidance on where the money will be sourced.

At the Catanduanes State University (CatSU), officials have reported decided against using printed modules, as it would amount to more or less P50 million.

Instead, it is claimed, the university will purchase OTG flash drives, which can be plugged into smartphones or laptops, for each of its enrolled students for the semester.

The OTG drive will contain the modules prepared by each of the student’s professors for a half-semester, with the drive to be returned during the midterm exam and then reloaded with the modules for the final half of the semester.

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