Monday, June 13, 2005

DILG takes steps to ensure attendance of kids in school


Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Angelo Reyes has called on local government units (LGUs) and local police forces to conduct a continuing campaign against school truancy that would prevent children and youth of elementary and high school age from skipping their classes.

Reyes has proposed that mayors, with the municipal and barangay councils, should enact and implement anti-truancy ordinances as he reminded local officials that the education of the youth is essential to the future economic and social progress of the nation.

Reyes also stressed that keeping children and youth in schools is an effective way of curbing criminality, because aside from being educated, children in schools are kept from the temptation of committing crimes due to vagrancy and illness.

Reyes proposed that the city and municipal councils, and the respective barangay councils, should organize special truancy patrols, consisting of representatives of the municipality, barangay, the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) and the police to look for truants during school hours.

According to the DILG chief, school truants need not be detained, but should be brought to the schools where they are enrolled, where their case would be brought to the attention of the principal and the guidance counselor. In case of recidivism, the parents of the truant may be summoned by the barangay and told to discipline the child, he proposed.

"It is important that young people of elementary and high school age should be guided strongly about the values of education and kept out of the temptation of law breaking in order to reduce the incidence of criminality and maintain peace and order in the community," Reyes stressed.

Faithful attendance of children and youth of school age in elementary and high schools should be considered a basic community goal, Reyes added.
** Olongapo City has Truancy Ordinance and organized truancy board under leadership of Kate Gordon

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