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PIA Press Release
2007/10/15

Bad peer influence top reason for student drop out

by P. Balocnit

TABUK CITY (15 October) -- The bad influence of peer groups and having vices to support are the primary reasons why out of school youths (OSYs), who enrolled in the Alternative Learning System (ALS), stop attending school. The environment in the family and the community has also affected their choice not to continue schooling.

These were gathered from the OSYs themselves, who at the start of ALS classes, are asked to put into writing why they dropped out from school and how they could contribute to community development.

OIC ALS Supervisor Lorenza Fannot said students were asked to reflect on the highest point in their life and of what they thought could they become in the future. From those free expressions of their thoughts, the students start to reengineer their directions and realize their vision in life with the assistance of ALS, she explained.

As growing up teenagers, the pressure of having to belong is great. But with no adult guidance or direction, it often leads them astray like always in trouble with other groups, gallivanting around or having picnic anywhere and missing classes. The situation eventually results to dropping out of school.

Others stopped because of family problems. One student bravely narrated that he dropped from school because his father is having an illicit relation with another woman.

Having less in life caused one to stop. Because of the hardship in life, his parents wish him to get married and look for job. But the student opted to enroll in ALS.

"It is rewarding that government strengthened the non-formal education to accommodate drop outs wanting to continue their studies," Fannot said adding that their dreams for better life will not end with ALS giving them a second chance to finish their studies.

The OSYs were found to have noble intentions. Many wanted to help in barangays affairs. Others have harsh plans wanting that members of their barangay council be replaced this coming elections because of alleged graft and corruption and drunkenness of some kagawad. "We expected them as model of positive values but it's the reverse," one ALS student said.

They want to help stop graft and corruption, public scandal, criminality, and proliferation of vices. Others feel of help in proper waste disposal, imposing community discipline and stop trouble.

Now that they are in school, they are urging other OSYs to register with ALS. One desired to finish a short course based on his ability and will seek a stable job to help his family. Another wished to finish his studies to help everyone who needs help. One aspired to finish a short course in ALS and look for a job. If he has earning, he plans to joint the military service.

Meanwhile, Fannot informed that the ALS will administer the Philippine Education Placement Test (PEPT) on November 18 and Accreditation and Equivalency (AnE) for in-school and out of school youths including adults in February next year.

Fannot hopes that many will take this opportunity since there are a lot of trainees who finished the Basic Literacy Program (BLP) and the Functional Educational Literacy program (FELP) of ALS and ALPS (Army Literacy Patrol System of the 21st IB).

She said the first batch that started classes in May this year finished their training on September 28 while the 2nd batch will start on November 17 and could catch up with the February tests after completing 535 training modules.

Fannot earlier informed that 28 inmates were qualified to take the PEPT and AnE assessment tests to be conducted inside the jail building. "Our problem is their registration fee," Fannot said adding that Dr. Amelia Miranda sponsored five applicants who have lighter offenses.

Those who may take the PEPT are over age in school, registered learners of ALS, 15 years old and above while those for AnE are elementary and high school drop outs and adults but have passed the BLP and FELP assessment. Applicants are required to present an authenticated birth certificate to avoid substitute examinees.

Applicants are also asked to bring their Form 137 or the report card and pay P50.00 registration fee. (PIA Kalinga) [top]

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