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PIA Press Release

Feature: Sprouting enthusiasm for pursuing education

by Recthie B. Tolinero

Cagayan de Oro City (25 May) -- After a long summer break, attending classes does not sound so striking to most children especially those who are afraid that their parents might not be able to pay for their school needs. According to Randall Flanery, a pediatric psychologist, parents should try to relate to the child and understand his or her concerns in order to persuade him or her to go to school.

School refusal is often associated with anxiety disorder or social phobia. For most children in Talakag, Bukidnon, going to school would mean another expense from their parents who are commonly working as farmers or laborers. Thus, they often have this social insecurity that they might not be able to cope up with their classmates.

Carfie Ann R. Balili, 12, who just graduated from elementary, said that education is her only passport to become a competitive nurse someday and thinking of her other seven siblings and her parents' occupations as street sweeper and tailor who are earning around P100-150 a day, she became more eager to finish her studies. But sometimes, she finds it hard to go to school not because of temper tantrums like other school children feel but because of the fact that her parents are having a difficult time stretching out their meager earnings for their daily needs. Currently, Carfie resides at Purok 3, San Isidro, Talakag, Bukidnon.

"Daku akong pasalamat nga naluwas-luwas mi sa among problema sukad adtong naapil mi sa 4Ps (I am very grateful that we were aided with our problems ever since we became part of 4Ps)," Carfie happily shared. Just like a parent relating to the needs and concerns of his or her children the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which aims to reduce poverty by providing conditional cash grants to the poorest households that will be used to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly the children aged 0-14, provided Carfie's family with P1,400 per month since May 2009.

The beneficiaries will continue on receiving the grant for five years as long as they can comply with the program's conditions. Since certain human development goals can be met through improving health and education, 4Ps has set conditions that will focus on these key aspects. As of May 17, 2010, Carfie was able to enroll herself to first year high school and is very excited for the upcoming school year given that her mother could now afford to pay for the school fees and purchase necessary educational supplies.

"Karon, dili na ko maulaw nga musulod sa klase kay mapalitan na man mi sa akong mama ug mga gamit ug matagaan na sad mi'g balon kada adlaw dili pareha sauna (Now, I am no longer ashamed to go to school because my mother could afford to buy our school items and she could now consistently give us allowance unlike before)," the hopeful student said.

At a very young age, Carfie believes that life is never easy to deal with especially when poverty hinders a person to reach for his or her dream but being intimidated by these fears and thoughts all the time, she knows that she will never surpass anything at all. (DSWD) [top]

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