The Department of Education (DepEd) revealed on Monday that 440 private schools across the country would be temporarily closing this academic year due to low number of enrollees.

Education Undersecretary Revsee Escobedo said the 440 private schools out of 14,435 private schools nationwide attributed the low enrollment turnout as the reason for the temporary ceasing of operations.

Education officials earlier attributed to the low enrollment turnout to the effects of the pandemic.

The Education Department said the Bangsamoro region has not yet provided their figures.

To address the livelihoods of private school teachers affected by the temporary closure of their schools, the government seeks to provide assistance them assistance through the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

DepEd data showed on Monday showed 1.7 million students have enrolled in private schools, which is 41.47 percent of the 4.3 million private schools students last year.

The Education Department revealed that as of Monday, 398,010 private school students have transferred to public schools.

The DepEd has allowed private schools to start classes earlier than October 5, the agency’s prescribed date, as long as they implement remote methods of learning and follow health protocols.

Escobedo said 1,394 private schools have started classes as of August 24, earlier than October, which is the DepEd’s prescribed opening date.  He added that more than 6,000 schools are expected to open between August 24 to October 5.  Rommel F. Lopez