TAGUM CITY —Davao del Norte students 12 to 15 years of age are working, further decreasing enrollment in secondary schools.
This has prompted Dr. Aurora Cobero, Department of Education (DepEd) Davao del Norte schools division superintendent, to drum up calls for parents, guardians, and grassroots leaders to enroll children of these ages for school year 2010-2011.
To accommodate these working children, DepEd is now offering a scheme that allows students to continue working while pursuing their studies through its Alternative Learning System (ALS). “They don’t have to stop working. They only have to report once a week to their classes,” Cobero said.
Cobero said out-of-school children aged 12 to 15 years have been found working in small banana plantations and rice farms, or driving the traysikad (non-motorized tricycles).
Aside from coordinating with barangay officials, DepEd Davao del Norte is also establishing extension classes in far-flung areas of Talaingod particularly in Natulinan which lies along the of Bukidnon. Cobero also bared moves of the Provincial School Board to set up a “Balay Pasilungan” for Asuncion National High School which had been found to have the highest drop out rate.
Cobero made the urgent call in line with the Philippine bid to hit a record of 100 percent fulfillment to its commitment to the millennium development goals (MDG) set by the United Nations (UN) for its member countries to achieve in 2015.
Achievement of universal primary education is the second of the eight MDGs. Other MDGs are eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, promote gender equality and; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDs, Malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop a global partnership. (PIA XI)