By Donald Q. Gramonte
As a result of major adjustments in the school calendar for School Year (SY) 2020-2021, the Department of Education (DepEd) will conduct the early registration for SY 2021-2022 from March 26 to April 30, 2021.
This activity that will last for a month will be conducted to make sure that the incoming learners will be registered for the School Year and assist the Department to formulate necessary preparations for possible challenges, concerns and issues that may be encountered in the upcoming school year. This mandate is stipulated in DepEd Order No. 3, s. 2018, or the Basic Education Enrollment policy.
“All incoming Kindergarten, Grades 1, 7, and 11 in public elementary and secondary schools shall pre-register to allow the Department to make necessary preparations and incoming plans for the coming school year,” Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.
The Education Secretary also gave specific instruction that Grades 2-6, 8-10, and 12 are considered pre-registered, thus, participation in the early registration will not be necessary.
All public schools are mandated for early registration of the learners while it lies on the option of the private schools. Private schools, however, are mandated to strictly implement the Kindergarten cut-off age under DO No. 20, s. 2018.
At this point, DepEd admonished all schools and the public to strictly observe precautionary measures against COVID-19 contagion during the conduct of the early registration activity.
“In the context of the prevailing COVID-19 public health emergency, the conduct of early registration shall be done remotely in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ). In-person registration through parents or guardians may be allowed in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) provided physical distancing and health and safety protocols are strictly observed,” Briones added.
The Early Registration was introduced to help DepEd estimate the number of enrollees for the coming school year as stipulated in DepEd Order No. 3, s. 2018, otherwise known as the Basic Education Policy.
In addition, the early registration of the incoming Kinder and Grades 1, 7, and 11 students, will greatly help the Department of Education to gather information, to locate, identify and register out of school youth and children who may be considered as living with disabilities; living in an off-grid community; living in a barangay without a school; living in a geographically isolated area; displaced due to natural disaster; living in an armed conflict area; living in an area with a high level of criminality/drug abuse; having a chronic illness; having nutritional problems; a victim of child abuse or economic exploitation; stateless/undocumented; in conflict with the law; living on the streets; and no longer in school but interested in going back to school.
The early registration campaign will help guarantee every Filipino and the right of all school-aged learners to be accommodated in school and be fairly provided with quality, equitable, culture-based, and complete basic education.