LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Education (DepEd) regional office for Bicol continues to accommodate late enrollees for the school year 2020-2021.

Mayflor Marie Jumamil, DepEd-Bicol spokesperson, said Tuesday given the present situation caused by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the agency’s office in the region will accept late enrollees until September.

“We are considering late enrollees since some of the parents are not yet decided. They also consider economic and health reasons and maybe some are not yet decided if they will enroll in private or public schools,” she said in a phone interview.

Jumamil said they respect the decision of parents with regard their children’s education.

“In DepEd, we provide options for the parents to look into and decide the best option for the best interest of their children,” she added.

The enrollment data issued by DepEd-Bicol as of July 19 indicate 101,878 learners listed in kindergarten; 726,981 in elementary; 198,164 in senior high school; 493,970 in junior high school; 5,723 learners with disabilities; 38,097 in the Alternative Learning System; and 70,094 in private schools.

In a statement, DepEd-Bicol director Gilbert Sadsad said the figures still represent a significant number of students who will continue their studies despite the abnormal situation caused by the pandemic.

He said the numbers also indicate the strong support of Bicolanos and confidence in the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan proposed by DepEd-Bicol.

“With this figure, we are still optimistic that we can still reach 100 percent or even more as there are still learners to gather. Amid the not so normal situation, we are all in this endeavor to get them back in our education continuum this SY, having in mind their preferred modality of learning on top of their safety and health security.” Sadsad said. (PNA/Connie Calipay)