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Early marriage, family issues top school dropout reasons

Early marriage, family issues top school dropout reasons

CEBU, Philippines — Early marriage and family concerns are seen as the top reason that students drop or leave schools, but this should not be a hindrance for youngsters to complete basic education, according to an official from the Department of Education (DepEd).

DepEd Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Service and Alternative Learning System G.H. Ambat said more female students drop from high school because some, who get pregnant or decide to marry early, have a hard time in juggling their studies and their maternal duties.

“About 80 percent of the students nationwide are females. In grade school, more males drop out from school.  But once students reach 15 years old, more females drop out… even in Alternative Learning System (ALS) program, 60 percent are males. Where are the females?” said Ambat during her keynote speech at launching of the Integrated Curriculum for Cebuano learners to Engage for Better Understanding (iC-CEBU).

Ambat said schools play a vital role in providing emotional support and in promoting the mental wellbeing to young mothers.

She said if they did not finish school, they are encouraged to enroll to DepEd’s ALS program.

But in schools, Ambat said students are already taught of the comprehensive sexuality curriculum.

Aside from early marriage, other common reasons, she said, that hinder students from studying are financial constraints and lack of personal interest.

In the four provinces in Central Visayas, public and private schools have registered a school leaver (dropout) rate of 1.52 percent in elementary and 5.38 percent in Junior High for school year 2017-2018.

In elementary, at least 16,752 of the 1,102,078 student population did not finish a grade or year level or failed to enroll the following school year.

In Junior High, at least 26,899 stopped studying out of the 499,985 high school students.

Data for Senior High level has not yet been accounted because students that time just entered Grades 11 and 12.

In school year 2016-2017, Central Visayas (excluding Negros Oriental which was previously separated to form the Negros Island Region) logged a school leaver rate of 1.22 percent in elementary and 7.11 percent in Junior High.

In elementary, at least 11,072 students dropped out from the 907,563 enrollees while in Junior High, 27,845 of the 391,636 high school student population left schooling.

But the DepEd Cebu Province division aims to address these concerns through an integrated learning model dubbed iC-CEBU, which was launched formally yesterday.

DepEd Cebu Province division, through the efforts of Dr. Rhea Mar Angtud, has designed a model that seeks to address the common learning crisis in the province and was tailored fit for the local setting here.

Angtud said the model has integrated the aspects on gender sensitivity, gender equality and gender equity into the curriculum.

For example, in values education, students are taught the importance of marriage and the value of waiting, she said.

She added the learners are also oriented on the basic life lessons such as common ideologies that “true love waits.”

Angtud said students are also immersed in different subjects regardless of their gender, male can do cooking while female can enter welding trainings. This model also aims to remove certain perception or beliefs that men can only do well in Math and sports while females do better in English.

The iC-CEBU uses three disciplines or methods in learning: interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. In these methods, for example, reading, writing and counting can be applied in other subjects outside English and Math.

Angtud said this model wishes to scrap the chalk-talk method wherein teachers do most of the discussions, this time, students will be given most of the opportunity to explore and engage in lectures and activities. — GAN (FREEMAN)


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