Wednesday, May 07, 2008

LFS: Enrollment rate to drop due to crisis

May 5, 2008
LFS: Enrollment rate to drop due to crisis

The League of Filipino Students (LFS) warned today that the number of students who will opt not continue with their education and instead dropout of school will increase dramatically this year due to skyrocketing price increases in basic commodities and living costs.

“The enrollment rate has been at a steady decline under Arroyo’s government. From 1995 to 2002, enrollment grew at a rate of 1.98 percent. Since 2003 to 2007, it has dropped to 0.97 percent. We expect this figure to drop dramatically this year due to the crisis,” LFS national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo said.

According to Crisostomo, many parents might not be able to enroll their children in the coming school year as the price increases are also expected to raise the costs of sending young people to school.

Crisostomo said that while tuition may be free in public schools, it still takes around P15,000 to P20,000 to send a student to a public elementary or high school for a whole school year, considering school fees, transportation, food and other expenses. This figure, according to him, is even expected to rise as costs of basic commodities are constantly increasing.

“Parents are now being forced to choose between sending their children to school or spending that amount to buy rice and other necessities. This is apart from the fact that school fees are also on the rise due to lack of budgetary allocation,” he added.

“If the government does not properly address the current crisis, more parents and students might be forced to drop out from schools. PMA na lang sila: Pahinga Muna Anak or Pangkain na lang Muna Anak,” he added.

According to LFS, the drop out rate as it is now is already a cause for alarm, as only 60 percent of those who enter grade one finish basic education and 40 percent finish high school, 20 percent enroll to college and only 10 percent finishes to receive a degree.

“With the current crisis and the continued lack of government response, we can expect these figures to go up this coming school year. The Arroyo government has made education less accessible to Filipinos,” said Crisostomo.

The LFS called on the government to “act quickly and decisively” to address the “worsening education crisis which it has only its self and its flawed policies to blame.”

In order to avert this worsening education crisis, the government must:

  • 1. Increase budgetary allocation and subsidy to education,
  • 2. Stop the implementation of unjust tuition and other fee increases this coming year, and
  • 3. Stop the imposition of school fees and compulsory payments in public elementary and high schools.

“If the Arroyo government fails to act on these calls, more students and youth will surely take the streets to protest her corrupt and anti-youth policies,” Crisostomo said. ###

News Release

Ron Villegas, National Vice Chairperson and Information Officer,

Vencer Crisostomo, National Chairperson, 09157991059,

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