Out-Of-School Children and Youth in the Philippines

Data and statistics help us see what is really happening but these still need to be collected properly and more importantly, analyzed thoughtfully. The number of children who leave school is a significant metric for any educational system. School leavers constitute an anathema to the mantra of education for all. The Philippines currently faces significantly low and seemingly stubborn cohort survival rates for both elementary and secondary education.

The Cohort Survival Rate is the proportion of enrollees at the beginning grade or year who reach the final grade or year at the end of the required number of years of study.
The numbers above are helpful for these show how many students actually finish both elementary and high school at the designated number of years. Thus, at the end of high school, more than 21 percent of the students do not finish on time. What is quite remarkable is that this number is not so different from the percentage of youth (aged 15-24 years old) who are not attending school, have not finished any college or post secondary course, and are not working: 17.5 %

Having these two percentages quite close to each other only suggests that most of the youth who are now either unemployed or not in school are also the same individuals who have not finished high school on time. Of course, it is important to find the reason why there are so many of the youth not enrolled in a school. Below are the answers provided by Philippine statisticians:

The numbers above mean something, but seeing "Family income not sufficient to send child to school" and "High Cost of Education" as two separate categories is quite puzzling. The cost of anything is really perceived high if one cannot afford it, but the above suggests that 19.2% of out-of-school youth say their family income is not sufficient to send child to school while only 9.0% says high cost of education. Of course, the other intriguing piece of the data is that even with public education in high school, a significant number still cites costs as the main reason for leaving school. 

In any case, the main reasons youth in the Philippines leave school are dramatically different from those given by high school dropouts in the United States:

The contrast is very striking. The cohort survival rate in the United States is not far from that of the Philippines. It is 81% (in the US), very close to 78.2 % (in the Philippines), yet the reasons for dropping out of school are miles apart. Perhaps, the difference lies in how the survey was done, what questions were provided, and what possible reasons were suggested.