CLARK FREEPORT -- The Department of Education (DepEd) recorded a huge turnout in the number of enrollees following the early registration last January 26.

This was learned Wednesday, February 06, from DepEd Central Luzon director Betriz Torno during the Talk WidUs February edition of Pampanga Press Club and Widus Hotel and Casino.

In Central Luzon alone, Torno said that a total 38,075 students registered -- 10,390 in the Kindergarten; 17,988 for Grade 1; 6,641 for Grade 7; and 3,056 for Grade 11 as of January 28.

The agency implemented the early registration every Saturday in anticipation of the influx of enrollees coming from other schools in nearby places, according to Torno.

“Especially with us since we are near Manila and other regions like Region I and Region II, many transfer to our schools,” she said.

The early registration will continue until February 22.

With the big number of students for the 2019 school-year, Torno disclosed that there will be shifting of classes in some areas in the region because of “lack of classrooms.”

In some schools in Central Luzon, there will be two shifts of classes – 6 a.m. to 12 noon and 12 noon to 6 p.m. - to accommodate all of the students, the DepEd official said.

Torno said the backlog in the number of classrooms has increased in Central Luzon because of the slow implementation of school building projects by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“We fund the project but the implementor is the DPWH, it is in the law,” the DepEd official added.

Some 11,373 classrooms in the entire Central Luzon need to be completed by the DPWH, Torno said.

“For the classroom needs, our backlog the DPWH needs to address is 11,373 regionwide.”