January 28, 2021 – After a series of consultations with our regional directors and field officers, the Department of Education (DepEd) denies misleading claims on the dropout rate in basic education for School Year 2020-2021.

There has been no clear indicator of massive dropout attributed to blended learning, based on the assessment conducted by our field officials. In our weekly joint Executive-Management Committee meeting, no regional director reported alarming dropout details in their respective areas. This was supported by field offices’ report and consultations with learners and their parents.

Learners did not drop out from school, but they either shifted from one mode of learning to another or migrated from one geographical location to another. Learners’ migration is observed due to the economic impact of the pandemic. Data showed that students have either moved from city to provincial schools or from private to public schools. Other learners, meanwhile, have decided to shift from solely modular to blended learning, wherein they can also tap into TV, online, and radio resources available at their respective schools. In addition, the slow return of students to schools after holiday season and school vacations is typically observed annually.

We are also continuously implementing academic ease measures to help families, learners, and teachers who are still adjusting to the distance learning set-up. Public schools are practicing leniency in the completion and submission of activities by learners. They have also expanded their respective mental health and socio-emotional well-being support programs. Across the level of governance in DepEd, we are also collaborating with various authorities and external partners to strengthen our pandemic response initiatives. In this regard, we would like to remind the public not to draw conclusion from misleading claims or on isolated cases.

As we pour our efforts to make education work for our Filipino children, we hope the public can help us encourage our learners to continue their education.