Senator Win Gatchalian is proposing an enhanced back- to-school program in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to address enrollment woes in the region.
Gatchalian lamented the low cohort survival rate in the region. Based on data from the Department of Education (DepEd) and analysis from the senator’s office, only 17 out of every 100 learners who attended Grade 1 in School Year (SY) 2010-2011 completed Grade 12 in SY 2021-2022. This is much lower than the national cohort survival rate, where 51 out of 100 learners who attended Grade 1 in SY 2010-2011 completed Grade 12 in SY 2021-2022.
The senator also lamented that almost half a million youth in BARMM remain out of school. Data from the DepEd and estimates from both the senator’s office and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reveal that while enrollment in the region is at 991,243, 32% or 463,963 youth in the region remain out of school.
Data from the DepEd further revealed that only 6% or 28,832 out-of-school youth are enrolled in the Alternative Learning System (ALS).
Based on the PSA’s 2019 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey, the top reasons for non-attendance in schools among those aged 6-20 are lack of personal interest (34%) and the insufficiency of family income to send children to school (25.6%).
“Kailangang hikayatin natin ang ating mga magulang at kabataan sa BARMM upang magbalik at manatili sa mga paaralan. Puntahan natin ang bawat tahanan at tiyakin nating hindi mapagkakaitan ng edukasyon ang ating mga kababayan sa BARMM,” said Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
In implementing the back-to-school campaign, Gatchalian cited the need to collaborate with the BARMM’s Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education. He also pressed the need to visit every household, a move that he says should involve mayors, barangay captains, and other community leaders.
Gatchalian sought the development and implementation of programs that will keep children, especially Grades 1 to 6 learners, in school. These programs include the school feeding program.
The senator also sought the strengthened implementation of the ALS program to enhance the skills and abilities of the current working population and out-of-school children and youth.