The Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday reported that 250,539 private school students have decided to transfer to public schools, a week before enrollment period ends.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the transfers were due to the economic burden caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to closures of businesses and loss of jobs.

“Natamaan talaga nang husto ang private sector because they charge tuition and some of them charge additional fees,” Briones said.

“Pero siguro, this will be partially resolved when the economy will be opened, people will have jobs, they can pay for the top of tuition fees for their children and spend for whatever is needed to keep a child in a private school,” she added.

Of the total, 148,852 were elementary students, 69,851 were junior high school students, 26,138 were senior high school students and the remaining 5,698 were non-graded learners with disabilities.

The total number of enrollees stood at 18,871,245 as of 8 a.m. of July 8.

Of the number, 17,957,202 were public school enrollees while 894,161 were private school enrollees.

DepEd expects 27.7 million enrollees for school year 2020-2021.

Enrollment will run until July 15, while classes are scheduled to open on Aug. 24. John Ezekiel J. Hirro