MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) has officially declared that the early registration period for school year (SY) 2016-17 will commence on Saturday (Jan. 30) in all public elementary and secondary schools.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro issued a department order dated Jan. 26 setting a month-long early registration program from Jan. 30 to Feb. 29 which aims to achieve universal participation and solidify DepEd’s vow that “no child shall be left behind in education.”

Luistro said that this will serve as a massive advocacy campaign to find children and youth not currently enrolled and bring them back to school.

For his part, DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo considers this a good opportunity for schools to anticipate the number of enrollees for the next school year, avoid repercussions, and start preparations.

Aside from ensuring that all five-year-old children are enrolled in kindergarten, the early registration will also reach those in the peripheries identified as “last milers”–these are out-of-school children and youth who are in far-flung areas, in difficult circumstances, part of disadvantaged groups, disabled or in need of special education, and others.

Mateo said that this campaign is not limited to the function of schools but rather extends to the entire community.

He urged local government units, civic organizations and people’s organizations to team up with schools and come up with various activities for the campaign’s propagation. PNA/