Issue on Philippines' Education

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In the past decade, significant developments have been made to expand access to preschool and primary education. The necessary laws for the promotion and protection of education are also in place. These include: the Barangay (Village) Day Care Center Law, which calls for the establishment of educational and day care centres in every village; the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Act, which mandates all villages to have day care centres and early learning institutions for children; and, the Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001, which promotes school-based management and de-concentration of authority and decision making from the national and regional levels of the education bureaucracy to the division and school levels.

Despite this, access of 3- to 5-year-old children to ECCD remains low at 34 per cent. For every ten 5-year-old children, only six have access to preschool education. Access has been notably lower among younger children (3-4), especially boys and among rural children. This trend is alarming considering that lack of early education and psychosocial stimulation has been linked to poor school readiness and high likelihood of repetition and dropout in early grades. Many parents and communities have to be convinced of the importance of early childhood education. Many believe that 3-year-old children are too young to attend preschool.

While net enrolment in primary school is high at 85 percent as of schoolyear 2007-08 , this rate drastically declines to 62 per cent in high school in the same school year. Drop-out rates are doubled as children reach secondary school. Around11.64 million out-of-school youth and others situated in impoverished urban cities and far-flung communities still need to be reached.

The country fairs well in maintaining gender parity in access in primary education. Boys and girls have almost equal opportunities to attend primary schools. However, boys lag behind the girls in terms of staying in...
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