Poverty remains a hindrance to achieve 'education for all'-A A +A
Saturday, November 2, 2013
POVERTY remains as the main challenge for the education sector in Davao Region to achieve the "education for all" target by 2015 as provided for in the United Nations-initiated Millennium Development Goal (MDG).
"Actually a lot of factors are affecting our efforts in achieving this goal not because there are those who did not enroll in public education but because of poverty," Departement of Education (DepEd) public information officer Jenielito S. Atillo said in an interview with SunStar Davao on Thursday.
"Due to their status the parents opt to let their kids work to help them raise the family income instead of going to school," said Atillo. He added participation rate of children in schools are being affected due to poverty.
National Statistical Coordination Board regional head Rosendo M. Aya-ay said in his presentation during the culmination of the 24th National Statistics Month on Tuesday that the region has medium probability of achieving universal primary education based on the data they have gathered on the cohort survival rate in public and private elementary schools and teacher-pupil ratio in government elementary schools for school year 2010-2011.
Davao Region ranked fourth with the lowest cohort survival rate at 66.23 percent. The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Armm) has the lowest rate 40.69 percent while the National Capital Region has the highest cohort survival rate at 85.62.
In terms of teacher-pupil ratio in government schools, the region has the fifth lowest among the regions in the country with one teacher for every 38 pupils.
Atillo said government efforts to achieve the goal is the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the DSWD which has helped in increasing the number of students attending the school since the program requires them to do so.
The agency also has the Expanded Government Assistance for Students and Teachers in Private Education (E-GASTPE) to assist students in school. This was created through Republic Act 8545, which requires DepEd to provide P10,000 per student in the National Capital Region and P6,500 in other areas.
Also to increase the participation rate in schools they have the alternative learning system (ALS) for those who do not have time for school because they are working to help the family or are living far from the school.
"For those who haven't finished elementary or high school will enroll in the ALS for a one year class to learn the things taught in school for a year," said Atillo. After the one year class they will take a national exam. If they pass the national exam they will graduate.
Also under the ALS they have the alternative delivery mode program for kids who have regular classes but can’t attend regularly. They created modular sessions for these students so they can keep up with students who are having regular classes. There is also the distance learning program wherein the teachers go to the distant areas to setup learning centers.
Atillo also said that teacher-student ratio will improve for the current school year since some 62,000 public teachers were created and the region has been allotted some 3000 positions.
"We always say that poverty is not a hindrance to getting education but the government can't provide all the needs of its constituents. The parents should also exert effort in bringing their children to school since they understand how important it is to have education," he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 02, 2013.