Philippine Education

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Philippine Education: Child Labor in Relation to Education

Gabrielle Campos Veloso
Dr. Elineth Suarez
Coomunication in English II
23 January 2009

Gabrielle Campos Veloso
Dr. Suarez
Communication in English II
23 January 2009

Philippine Education: Child Labor in Relation to Education

The Philippines faces the issue of child labor because the state has failed to exercise the proper actions in order to take control of the situation. It has, like the US, set a minimum age of employment under the circumstances that the work hours be limited and the undertakings not be hazardous (DOL). The minimum age of employment in the Philippines has been set at age 15(IPEC- Philippines). Yet although certain policies have been made to improve the condition of child labor in the Philippines, none of these involve the educational requirements of the child.

It is evident that the educational sector in terms of child labor has been neglected, as seen in studies indicating that the education of these child laborers have been placed in jeopardy. Statistics show that 41.1 % in Angono and 56.3% in Taytay among the working youth are out of school. These people are working in agriculture and manufacturing services, researched by Del Rosario in 1989. Also, KDC recorded in 1994 that all children in Navotas, Metro Manila, Quezon City and Bulacan involved in prostitution, domestic work, a sardine’s factory and a textile factory are out of school as well. (Bonga 94-95)

Oosternout observed that in Cebu, during the year 1986, “50 percent of the males who dropped out of school after grade four and five were found in Muro-Ami ships.” The employment of children by the Muro-Ami could be the cause of the increased number of student dropouts in that same year (Bonga 100). Also, as studied by Orense in 1992, children in Masbate work everyday of the week for over ten hours a day (Bonga 97) and according to Magno (1986), most of the child prostitutes or vendors in the Philippines work at least eight hours a day every day of the week (Bonga 92). These facts hint the possible causes of why a number of students, in public schools, especially, are unable to attend their classes often, if they even attend school at all.

Although the working hours are said to have been limited since 2006, these child laborers could go to the extent of working under more than one employer, just to attain a decent income. Therefore, these children are still employed nonetheless, and their education suffers for it (speaking in terms of work that circulates throughout the school year and not just a summer job). Even among Member countries of the OECD, which is said to be a class of well developed countries, only the US population from ages 15 to 19 find it possible to be employed full-time while studying (Beyond 14). The inability to balance one’s job and schooling forces the students to pick between the two, and, choosing the more urgent need, these students are most likely to drop their studies to pursue their labor. Their decision is also influenced by the parents of these students who find it difficult to sustain their family with their income alone. As a result, some of them turn to their children to enter a world of labor in order to help support the family financially. It is said that students who have left their schooling to enter the world of the paid labor force are ill-equipped and under-qualified to meet standards of the economic world. (Compulsory 13)

I believe that the state of the Philippines should not permit individuals under eighteen years of age to be employed in any labor whatsoever during the school year, without a high school diploma. This will be more beneficial to each of these individuals and to the country as a whole.

First of all, I chose the age of eighteen to be the minimum age because at is at this age wherein an individual is expected to have a sense of understanding on what his or her...
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