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3.3 Pinoy kids out of school this year
« on: June 05, 2008, 05:23:43 AM »
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) yesterday raised the alarm on the ballooning population of Filipino children aged 6 to 15 years old who are not enrolled in school.

Antonio Tinio, ACT chairperson, chided Education Secretary Jesli Lapus for giving a misleading picture of the dropout rate in the country by repeatedly saying that there are some 1 million out-of-school youths in the country.

“He is giving an unclear picture of the problem,” Tinio told The STAR. “He might be referring to the population of six-year-olds who are not in school.”

Tinio said that based on the Department of Education’s data, there are already about 3.3 million out-of-school youths in the country.

“This is a big number of children, aged six to 15 years old, who should be in school but are not getting an education,” Tinio said.

Tinio said the 3.3 million is 78 percent higher than that recorded in 2002.

Tinio accused DepEd of covering up the problem by releasing bloated enrollment projections for the new school year.

“DepEd press releases routinely claim that 21.66 million public and private school students will troop back to school this June. The actual figure, based on the DepEd’s own records, is closer to 19.5 million, where it’s been hovering since 2005,” Tinio revealed.

Tinio pointed out that even the National Economic and Development Authority has quietly acknowledged the worsening state of basic education.

Tinio said the “declining trends from 2002 to 2005 suggest an increased gap between performance and targets and low probability of achieving targets for 2010.”

“There were 1.86 million out-of-school children in 2002. This grew to 3.33 million in 2007. That’s an additional 1.46 million children forced out of school in just five years,” said Tinio.

“Providing universal access to basic education is one of the government’s fundamental obligations. No administration has presided over such a decline in enrollments as we’re seeing now. This is a huge blight on the Arroyo administration’s track record in education,” said Tinio.

ACT cited worsening poverty as the main factor behind the growing number of out-of-school children.

“This belies the government’s claims that economic growth is ‘trickling down’ to the poor. Students and parents most often cite lack of food or baon, transportation fare and the burden of school fees as the main reasons why they stop going to school or fail to enroll altogether,” said Tinio.

Claiming that the situation required “immediate and drastic intervention,” ACT called on the government to adopt strong measures to encourage more poor families to enroll and keep their children in school.

Among the measures the group proposed are the implementation of a genuine school feeding program, the establishment of free school bus or jeepney service in all schools, and the removal of all school fees.

ACT explained that the current DepEd policy regarding school fees is deceptive, since it prohibits the charging of miscellaneous fees only during the enrollment period, but allows it during the rest of the school year. (The Star=The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) yesterday raised the alarm on the ballooning population of Filipino children aged 6 to 15 years old who are not enrolled in school.

Antonio Tinio, ACT chairperson, chided Education Secretary Jesli Lapus for giving a misleading picture of the dropout rate in the country by repeatedly saying that there are some 1 million out-of-school youths in the country.

“He is giving an unclear picture of the problem,” Tinio told The STAR. “He might be referring to the population of six-year-olds who are not in school.”

Tinio said that based on the Department of Education’s data, there are already about 3.3 million out-of-school youths in the country.

“This is a big number of children, aged six to 15 years old, who should be in school but are not getting an education,” Tinio said.

Tinio said the 3.3 million is 78 percent higher than that recorded in 2002.

Tinio accused DepEd of covering up the problem by releasing bloated enrollment projections for the new school year.

“DepEd press releases routinely claim that 21.66 million public and private school students will troop back to school this June. The actual figure, based on the DepEd’s own records, is closer to 19.5 million, where it’s been hovering since 2005,” Tinio revealed.

Tinio pointed out that even the National Economic and Development Authority has quietly acknowledged the worsening state of basic education.

Tinio said the “declining trends from 2002 to 2005 suggest an increased gap between performance and targets and low probability of achieving targets for 2010.”

“There were 1.86 million out-of-school children in 2002. This grew to 3.33 million in 2007. That’s an additional 1.46 million children forced out of school in just five years,” said Tinio.

“Providing universal access to basic education is one of the government’s fundamental obligations. No administration has presided over such a decline in enrollments as we’re seeing now. This is a huge blight on the Arroyo administration’s track record in education,” said Tinio.

ACT cited worsening poverty as the main factor behind the growing number of out-of-school children.

“This belies the government’s claims that economic growth is ‘trickling down’ to the poor. Students and parents most often cite lack of food or baon, transportation fare and the burden of school fees as the main reasons why they stop going to school or fail to enroll altogether,” said Tinio.

Claiming that the situation required “immediate and drastic intervention,” ACT called on the government to adopt strong measures to encourage more poor families to enroll and keep their children in school.

Among the measures the group proposed are the implementation of a genuine school feeding program, the establishment of free school bus or jeepney service in all schools, and the removal of all school fees.

ACT explained that the current DepEd policy regarding school fees is deceptive, since it prohibits the charging of miscellaneous fees only during the enrollment period, but allows it during the rest of the school year. (The Phil. Headline News Online)

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