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The Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday said 18,871,245 learners have enrolled in public and private schools nationwide for the school year 2020-2021 which begins next month.

Data from the department showed that there are 17,957,202 learners enrolled in public schools and 894,161 in private schools.

Region 4-A (Calabarzon) logged the highest number of enrollees at 2,553,471 while the Cordillera Administrative Region registered the lowest at 305,645.

The enrollees are from kindergarten to senior high school, as well as learners with disabilities and those taking alternative learning system.

In an online press conference, DepEd Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said the department has been conducting Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) to ensure that all learners are properly enrolled under the “new normal”.

The OBE, which started on June 1 and will end on August 29, aims to address problems, queries, and other concerns that are commonly encountered before the school opening.

“Under the new normal, like basic education, public service should continue, and find ways to make communications accessible with the public,” Mateo said.

He said OBE will also strengthen the synergy with the DepEd’s Brigada Eskwela initiative under the “Bayanihan sa Paaralan” banner for this school year “to engage agencies, organizations, and other stakeholders in contributing to educational needs, especially at this critical time.”

He said learners and parents can send in their concerns and questions through DepEd’s social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter – and other media of communication like SMS, phone, e-mail, letter, or walk-in. (PNA)

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