DepEd records decrease in out-of-school youth

Sofia Tomacruz
DepEd records decrease in out-of-school youth
Assistant Secretary Nepomuceno Malaluan says the decrease is observed mainly among individuals aged 16 to 24, as many of those who returned to school after dropping out went back to senior high school

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday, June 14, announced a decrease in the number of out-of-school youth from 3.8 million individuals in 2016 to 3.6 million in 2017. 

Assistant Secretary Attorney Nepomuceno Malaluan said the decrease in out of school youth was observed mainly among individuals aged 16 to 24, as many of those who returned to school after dropping out went back to senior high school. (READ: Senior high school: No youth left behind?)

“Part of that reduction was really the clear positive impact of senior high school,” Malaluan said.

Since introducing Senior High School in 2016, DepEd recorded the attendance of Balik-Aral learners – or students who returned to school after dropping out – grew from 158,131 learners in school year (SY) 2016-2016 to 301,744 in SY 2017-2018.

“Senior High School has improved the profile of school participation in the country,” Malaluan added.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Annual Poverty Indicator Survey recorded a decrease of about 352,000 out of school youth aged 16 to 24, from 3.32 million in 2016 to 2.97 million in 2017.

On the other hand, PSA data showed an increase in out-of-school youth aged 6 to 11 and 12 to 15.

Among both age groups, the main reasons cited for not attending school were the lack of personal interest, illness and disability, and the high cost of education or financial concerns.

In order to mitigate the number of students who drop out, DepEd said it would focus on strengthening its incentives to support school attendance such as continuing its feeding program, tuition subsidies programs, and alternative learning system.

In addition to this, Assistant Secretary G.H. Ambat also said DepEd would continue its drive to have out-of-school youth return to school by offering different modes of attending school such as through night school and its flexible self-pacing open high school program. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.