Child labor stealing youth from schools

            Child labor is behind high dropout rate in public schools, according to the Department of Education.

            Regional Director Susana Teresita Estigoy said children from poor families drop out of school to work to raise family income.

            The drop-out rate is acute in Compostela Valley where children toil in mining areas and in Davao del Sur with children working in sugar plantations.

            “Child labor remains our biggest problem in making sure that all children go to school as it has been before. Poverty or the socio-economic situation of the family deeply reflects the performance indicators of education,” Estigoy said at the DepEd-organized press conference dubbed Oplan Balik Eskwelahan.

            “We attribute the high drop-out rate to how families have to alleviate themselves from poverty by allowing or making their children get involve in income generating activities by form of labor or even prostitution,” Estigoy said.

            To arrest the alarming drop-out rate, DepEd has launched various programs to lure back the drop-outs, among them “Project Reach,” targeting about 5.6 million out-of-school youth nationwide.

            Project Reach, which means “reaching all children,” targets to increase participation and reduce dropout rates.

            Project Reach has a five-point approach: “Gamit Pang Eskwela Mo, Sagot Ko”; intensive enrollment campaign; “No Child Left Behind” and “No Collection Policy”; enhancing Brigada Eskwela; and the Child Friendly School System, which discourages bullying among others.


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