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Gatchalian urges EDCOM to address school dropouts

June 20, 2023 Camille P. Balagtas 164 views

AMID on-going efforts to review the K to 12 program, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian identified a challenge that the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) should address on how to help the four out of 10 learners who enter Grade 1 but end up leaving school by Grade 10.

Data from the Department of Education (DepEd) and analysis from the senator’s office showed that out of 100 learners who entered Grade 1 in School Year 2010-2011, only 60 went to Grade 10, and only 58 completed junior high school.

“The challenge for us is how do we save the 40% that disappeared by Grade 10. This is something for us to think about because I think we should focus on how to keep kids in school from Grades 1 to Grade 10, so that’s a problem that we need to look at in EDCOM,” said Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.

The lack of personal interest for youth aged 12 to 17 is the top reason for non-attendance in school.

Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) 2019 Functional Literacy, Education, and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS), 41.9% of youth aged 12 to 15 and 28.3% of those aged 16 to 17 identified the lack of personal interest as a reason for not attending school.

Insufficient family income is a secondary reason for non-attendance in school.

The 2019 FLEMMS survey also showed that 14.4% of youth aged 12 to 15, and 15.4% of those aged 16 to 17 are not attending school because of insufficient family income.

Gatchalian previously proposed in the ARAL Program Act (Senate Bill No. 1604), which he authored and sponsored, the creation of mass awareness campaigns to encourage learners to return and re-enroll in school. The proposed ARAL Program seeks the implementation of a national learning recovery program to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.