DepEd and Asia Foundation Partner with SDRC to Address Out-of-School Youth Issues

      Twice as many boys as girls have been found to drop out of high school in the Philippines in recent years. Family problems, the need to work, illness, financial difficulties, and loss of interest are what feed this condition, diminishing the promise of today’s youth.

image1The situationer was shared by Mr. Henry Grageda, Senior Program Officer of the Asia Foundation, during a presentation of results of the study “Understanding the Context of Lack of Interest among Out-of-School Youth” held on December 9, 2016 at the Orchid Garden Suites in Manila. Led by SDRC Director Dr. Maria Caridad H. Tarroja with team members Dr. Abdul Jhariel Osman and Ms. Klarizze Valdoria, the presentation was delivered before a gathering of stakeholders from the Department of Education, the Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) program of the Australian Embassy, Barangay Leveriza in Malate, Cayetano Arellano High School in Tondo, and the Calamba Bayside National High School. Among the participants in the stakeholders’ discussion was special guest Br. Armin Luistro, former Department of Education Secretary and current head of the DepEd Superintendent Leadership Training Program.


The presentation of results focused on the concept of “lack of interest,” which is often not understood because it has no clear explanation. To address this problem, the research team consulted with faculty of DLSU who were experts in terms of scale development, and created a risk assessment tool that is preventive in nature, helping to identify students when red flags are up, and to determine when intervention programs can be implemented. The research team pointed out that it is a good idea to catch students who are at risk of dropping out early on, when a certain percentage of absences in class attendance can determine who the tool should be used for. They also recommended that, since the study comprises the initial part of the assessment tool, the tool can later be validated on a larger scale. This process will involve dialogue among the school, the family, and the community.

Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Dr. Raymond G. Tan once again cited SDRC’s long history at the University of applying research expertise toward pressing problems. Given the high prevalence of high school drop-outs in the urban sector, he noted, there has been a failure to grasp opportunities for education. He lauded the Center’s efforts in investigating key factors for paving the way toward crafting scientific solutions.