One out of eight Filipinos aged between six and 24 is an out-of-school youth (OSY), according to the 2010 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) of the National Statistics Office (NSO).
This translates to about 16 percent of the estimated 39 million Filipinos in that age bracket, or 6.24 million people, the NSO said in a report released last week.
It said that among the main reasons cited by both males and females for not attending school were “lack of personal interest,” “high cost of education,” and “looking for work.”
According to the office, the term OSY refers to family members six to 17 years old who are not attending a formal school as well as family members 18 to 24 years old who are currently out of school, not gainfully employed and had not finished college or a post-secondary course.
“Among OSYs who are six to 12 years old, lack of personal interest and too young to go to school are two leading reasons, for both males and females,” NSO administrator Carmelita N. Ericta said in the report.
Lack of personal interest was also the commonly cited reason for OSYs 13 to 17 years of age, followed by the high cost of education, according to Ericta. For OSYs aged 18 to 24 years, looking for work was cited as the main reason among males, and marriage among females, she added.
The state-owned think-tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said that Filipino families and the Philippine government put a high premium on education, but school participation still remained wanting precisely because of the reasons cited in the NSO study.
The PIDS said that addressing the “lack of interest” was particularly important because it could be a catch-all phrase for anything, from adjustments due to late school entry to lack of financial or parental support.
Besides improving the quality of education and the accessibility of schools, PIDS suggested that the government improve information campaigns on what age children should start going to school and promote continuing education for mothers so that they would support school attendance among their children.
Lack of parental support for education was found to be a major factor in children’s “lack of interest” in going to school.
In addressing the economic blocks to school participation, PIDS said, the government’s conditional cash transfer program might help families that decide to put their children to work rather than complete their education.
The Annual Poverty Indicators poll is a nationwide survey conducted during the years when the Family Income and Expenditures Survey is not carried out. For a full survey, the number of samples is around 50,000 households. In the 2010 APIS round, only half of the sample size was used.
Of the 21,023 eligible sample households for the 2010 APIS round, 20,103 were interviewed. This translated to a response rate of 95.6 percent at the national level.