SQUARE POINT: OSY on the rise PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 December 2011 13:54

BY Jack Edward Enriquez

About 59 million young Filipinos whose ages range from six to 24 years were considered out-of-school youth in 2010.

This is based on the Annual Poverty Indicators Survey recently reported by ISO. And the latest population count confirmed that we’re over 101 million. Also stated in the report that 28.9 percent of the youths were out-of-school due to the high cost of education while 27.5 percent lack interest.

Sen. Villar through a senate resolution proposed to conduct an inquiry into the alarming number of OSY in the country. From 4.84 million in 2002 to 6.24 million recorded last year, the report said.

Despite DepEd has a budget of billions of pesos, many young Filipinos cannot avail of the quality education from the government.
The senator proposed to enact a law that will address the problem and accommodate more students in schools by making education truly accessible to all Filipino youths. Right.

Though we have many scholarships— from government agencies, LGUs, philanthropists, politicians, including foreign grants, yet many students have to stop studying due to poverty.

In far flung barangays, still there are children over seven to 14 years old enrolling in primary grade. Majority of the parents are only elementary graduates. Very few have reached high school. On the other hand, scholarships granted by politicians are, most often than not, problematic because of politics. While those offered by LGUs are mostly not following the traditional maxim— “poor but deserving students.”

Here in Zamboanga City, the city government is offering a scholarship to high school graduates. One of the requirements should be a valedictorian and an average of 87 in the report card.

That appears to be anti-poor simply because it would be too difficult for a student from an indigent family to be valedictorian with all the impediments caused by poverty aggravated by the depressive feeling of inferiority complex. Though the student may be above average and very much interested to finish college, but not qualified for the scholarship. This kind of situation should be included in the proposed bill of Villar. Actually there are many students who have wanted to finish a four-year course in college, but the opportunity is just like in a song— “so near, yet so far.”

A point to ponder— we keep on building more schools, but young people out of school are becoming too many.