4M youth to get second chance at education
The National Youth Commission (NYC) on Friday launched a nationwide profiling system for out-of-school youth in a bid to bring them back to school—either the formal or alternative kind.
The government, through the barangays, will be making a list of 16 to 30-year-olds who never graduated from elementary and high school.
It is estimated that there are around four million out of school youth throughout the country, said Leon Flores III, NYC chair.
The enlisting program, entitled “Abot-Alam” is the first step in the effort to reintegrate them into the education system, the NYC said.
The database will be a tool to identify who they are, and the possible ways to help them, Flores said.
“The number (of out-of-school youth) is alarming,” Flores told the Inquirer during the launch of the program at Barangay Pinyahan in Quezon City.
The project is a three-year undertaking to create a comprehensive database of out-of-school youth. It will be undertaken through the local barangays, with the barangay chairs or Sangguniang Kabataan chairs coordinating the effort. The youth can also register online.
“The Philippines is lagging behind other countries in giving access to education to its people, that’s why we should start to act upon this problem now,” said Flores, noting that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) should be seen by the government as a tool for better reforms.
Universal access to education is one of the millennium goals targeted by 2015.
Once enlisted, the youth will be referred to the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), or the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) for reintegration.
The three agencies will be responsible for finding the appropriate modality for the enlisted youth, whether she or he would be brought back to formal schooling or be given technical training, Flores said.
According to a study by the NYC in 2010, six out of 10 youths say they would like to go back to school if given the chance.
Barangay Pinyahan, the pilot-testing venue for the project, has around 1,000 out-of-school youth, said Pinyahan barangay chair Zeus Lipinca Jr.
“This is the chance for the youth to continue their schooling,” said Lipinca, who himself dropped out of school then enrolled in an alternative learning system of the DepEd.
This phase of the three-year NYC program is called the “Community Reintegration Program.” Included in this phase are formal and alternative modes such as the Alternative Learning System, Kariton Klasrum, radio-based instruction and computer-based instruction, among others. Reden D. Madrid
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