UN attacks dropout rate in Philippines
The United Nations (UN) has dared the Aquino administration to come up with a breakthrough Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Plan that will address high dropout rates and extreme poverty in the country, two of the goals that Manila is not on track to achieve the 2015 deadline, the Manila Times reports.
The UN was referring to the eight time-bound, concrete and specific goals that 189 world leaders committed to achieving for their nations by 2015 at the UN in September 2000 namely: 1) end extreme poverty and hunger; 2) achieve universal primary education; 3) promote gender equality and empower women; 4) reduce child mortality; 5) improve maternal health; 6) combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; 7) ensure environmental sustainability and 8) develop a global partnership for development.
Dr. Jacqueline Badcock, UN resident coordinator in the Philippines, underscored that the bigger problem in the education situation is the increasing dropout rate in elementary levels as reported by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).
Based on the 2006 to 2007 NSCB statistics, the dropout rate increased from 8.6 percent to 9 percent, far from the 2006 target of decreasing it to 5.5 percent and 2009 target of 4.3 percent.
“A targeted program that will identify causes and solutions for high dropout rates is urgently needed to reverse this alarming trend,” Badcock said.
Badcock cited that case of the province of Sulu wherein only 62 percent of the children there are enrolled in public elementary schools, way behind the national average of 81.7 percent.
“Efforts to promote primary education enrolment should be concentrated in identifiable high-priority regions such as Sulu,” Badcock pointed out.
In addition, the UN linked poverty to the unemployment problem which makes poverty reduction and endangered goal.
UN records show that 33 percent of Filipinos still live on less than at least P45 pesos a day while the number of unemployed increased by 6.7 percent from 2.7 million in 2008 to 2.9 million in 2009.
“The government should also be ready to provide opportunities to empower low-income households to earn from these informal economic activities,” Minar Pimple, acting director of the UN Millennium Campaign, added.
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