THOUSANDS of students who transferred from private schools to public schools have increased this school year due to the rising cost of tuition and other school fees imposed by private schools, an official of the Department of Education in Davao region (Deped 11) said.

"Our teacher-student ratio this year is 1:60. It has increased from 1:45 because there is an exodus of students from private schools who transferred to public schools," DepEd 11 spokesperson Jenielito "Dodong" Atillo said in a phone interview Monday.

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He said the number of students increased since most private schools have also increased their tuition and other fees by an average of 10 percent.

At least 58 schools in the city have increased their tuition fee this year.

However, Atillo said he cannot give a specific figure yet on students from private to public schools since there are students who were still registering themselves as of Monday.

He said there are 265,852 elementary students and 83,548 high school students enrolled in public schools for school year 2014-2015.

With the exodus of students in public schools also comes the problem on lack of classrooms and teachers, he said.

Atillo reiterated that the distribution of students in the city are not proportionate since most parents who live far from the downtown area prefer to enroll their children in so-called semi-private schools like Magallanes Elementary School and Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Elementary School.

"There is no such thing as semi-private. Kung private ka, private ka. Kung public, public," he said.

"There are schools that have more students enrolled and there are schools that only have fewer students," he added.

In general, Atillo said the opening of classes on Monday went "smooth".