5.6-million OSY back to school this coming SY 2009-2010, says DepEd

Published by rudy Date posted on February 5, 2009

MANILA, Feb. 6 (PNA) – In an effort to reach out to young dropouts and out of school youth (OSY) and bring them back to finish school, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced on Wednesday they are now conducting a massive search for 5.6 million OSY through the Project Reaching All Children (REACH).

“We have to find them, reach them, keep them, make them complete school,” DepEd Assistant Secretary Teresita Inciong stressed.

During the 151st general assembly of the Foundation for Upgrading the Standard of Education (FUSE), Inciong pointed out they want to give out of school youth a chance to face a tough world mired by a global economic slowdown, declining job vacancies, poverty and exploitation.

Inciong said that Education Secretary Jesli Lapus wants to make sure that majority, if not all, of the 5.6 million out of school youth, will start their re-education this coming school year.

Inciong added that the dropout rate in elementary is six percent and in secondary is 7.5 percent due to economic reasons, health, disabilities and school adjustments.

She said that Lapus has ordered the DepEd to maximize by 2015 the DepEd resources in garnering a 98 percent universal school participation; 81 percent universal completion of the full cycle of basic education; and satisfactory achievement level by all at every grade level.

She added that the project has prioritized children-at risk in disadvantaged or marginalized communities, who are victims of exploitation or neglect, and who are with disabilities.

She said the project will be implemented through family mapping, school-barangay posting, and community assembly.

Inciong said DepEd has existing programs and projects which are intended to be optimized, like “Pasok at Balik-Eskwela Program”, food for school children, subsidy for the indigents, school health referred and social welfare program, and distance and open learning.

Earlier, Lapus noted that getting children to enroll is already a big challenge and keeping them in school is even more daunting. Poverty is identified as the biggest factor that keeps children and youth from enrolling or regularly attending school.

Lapus said Project REACH has two major components: Child Find and Innovative Interventions.

The components comprised of two sets of interventions – the demand-side and the supply side.

The demand-side interventions involve assistance from DepEd partners, to include adopt-a-child project, supplementary feeding, scholarship grants, community voucher and subsidy programs in partnership with parent teacher community associations.

The supply side intervention, on the other hand, are DepEd-initiated and funded. It is focused on the enrichment of existing intervention programs and the provision of alternative education delivery modes. (PNA)

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