September 14, 2021 – Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones on Monday officially welcomed the School Year 2021-2022 with renewed optimism for basic education as around 24.6 million learners attended the first day of classes nationwide.

Even in the time of cholera or COVID-19, with all its horrors and terrors, there is love. Even in the time of evil, there is always hope. Even in the time of the Delta variant, there is love. And there is education,” Secretary Briones said before declaring SY 2021-2022 open.

The Education chief shared that the Department has strived to deliver its mandate of providing education for learners and ensuring the welfare of teachers amidst the pandemic, citing the implementation of the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan and the increase of salaries and benefits of personnel.

We did what was considered impossible in five months. We translated printed material into TV, radio, cell phone, tablet; and yes, utilized walkie-talkies for remote schools,” the education chief noted.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte also extended his message to DepEd and Filipino educators during the virtual program watched by more than 300,000 live viewers.

This event shows DepEd’s strong commitment to provide the best quality education for our students despite the challenges of the pandemic,” President Duterte said.

“To our teachers, we hope you will remain dedicated to your sworn profession and lead more of our young citizens towards a better and brighter future,” the Chief Executive added.

Based on the September 13 Learner Information System report, around 18,561,298 learners are enrolled in public schools, while 1,443,849 students are registered in private schools. Alternative Learning System (ALS) has 198,297 enrollees.

The challenges we are facing now are even tougher than those we battled last year. Nonetheless, 24,604,822 million learners have returned to schools and we expect even more to enlist for late enrollment,” Sec. Briones added.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Nepomuceno Malaluan thanked teachers and school leaders for the encouraging enrollment turnout rate for the new school year.

The enrollment report is still on a steady upward trend. Taking into consideration the reporting lag and several regions already surpassing 100% of last year’s enrollment, there is indication not only of our learners from last year continuing this year, but also that some of our learners who opted to skip last SY are coming back,” Usec. Malaluan said.