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PIA Press Release

Little teachers eyed as tools in fight vs child labor

by RG Alama

Davao City (19 November) -- Helping their peers catch up with their lessons, several trained children and youth volunteers have been trained as "little teachers" To assist several identified children as part of an anti-child labor strategy.

In Region XI- about 50 children with ages ranging from 11 to 17 years old has been trained as little teachers/ peer counselors by ERDA, World Vision and Child Fund under the ABK2 initiative, an anti-child labor program largely funded by the United States Department of Labor.

According to Daphne Culanag, Project Director of ABK2 initiative, the little teachers act to help identified struggling learners among their localities. The program is implemented in selected barangays in Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province, Toril district in Davao City and in Magsaysay in Davao del Sur.

These kids which are selected from identified exemplary students and former child laborers themselves are trained in a 3-day workshop focusing on storytelling and catch up sessions in the subjects of English, Math and Science.

The kids are also provided with leadership and life skills trainings and orientation on childrens' rights. They are given flash cards, pocket charts, cartolina blackboards with chalks and posters for them to use in their teaching sessions.

During the catch-up sessions, advocacy on forms of child labor are integrated. These lessons are contextualize in the situation of each province and are cultural sensitive.

Mary Pima Arizala, World Vision communication specialist said that the little teacher program has met successes in several localities in the country in which it was implemented. In Negros Oriental, the program which was started last year has yielded a marked improvement in reading competency among student beneficiaries.

"This is a way of sustaining the ABK project after it expires in 2011," Arizala said.

The little teachers' project aims to capacitate local ABK2 partners in continuing the fight against child labor through the use of education.

The little teachers program has been cited as among the best practices which are set for implementation by local partners during the Mindanao Leg of the ABK2 Island-wide Stakeholders Summit held last November 17-19 in Davao City. (PIA XI) [top]

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