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. % 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 purpose and civil duties might be. It is at this age wherein one is ‘legalized’ and is trusted by society to responsibilities such as career, vocational studies and voting.
They are considered to be adults who are supposed to know what is expected of them by society and that is why I feel that these people, regardless if they have accomplished secondary school or not, should have the right to be employed if they wish. Those under eighteen years of age however, such as the young people from ages twelve to about seventeen, are at a crucial stage wherein they are easily influenced and should be educated properly in order to instill in them the knowledge that will enable them to keep up with society.
It is at this stage that one reflects on his or her person and future. (Compulsory 13) That is why guidance and a certain level of education, in my opinion, an accomplished secondary schooling, is necessary for those who wish to embark on the paid labor force before the age of eighteen. This is because under education not only affects the lives of the laborers who find themselves unqualified and unready to take on careers, but it also affects the economy negatively because it is being deprived of well-equipped, qualified and well-educated laborers . (Compulsory 9)
If even those who have completed their compulsory education are having trouble finding permanent and decent paying jobs because of under-qualification (Beyond 37), what more those who haven’t? Among the Member countries of the OECD, majority of these countries are burdened with the case of the youth who have terminated their studies embarking on the paid labor force having trouble seeking and maintaining their first job. (Beyond 35) This is because, according to Terranti (2002), the economy is in demand more for mental than physical labor (Farrell and Fenwick 14).
Most child laborers undertake physical labor rather than mental labor because they are not mentally skilled enough. Yet what will become of them after they have left their studies to do physical labor, thus leaving them under-qualified? Eventually they will get older and weaker and their employers will seek out younger and fitter child laborers to replace them. These people will be left with nowhere to turn to because the more stable jobs require the mental skill that they have forgone the moment they decided to neglect their education to become a child laborer.
That is why it is getting harder and harder to afford to be under-educated in the ever-evolving world of economics. “Developing countries risk being further marginalized in the competitive global knowledge economy because their education systems are not equipping laborers with the skills they need. ” (Farrell and Fenwick 14) If the education systems are already said to be insufficient enough to equip the people with the intelligence needed to cope with the fast paced globalization, what more for those who embark on their careers without finishing their secondary school at all?
They are most likely to end up with temporary, low paying jobs, and their under qualification and lack of skills training will cause them career instability, most probably for the rest of their lives unless they decide to go back to their studies or skills training in order to be better qualified. I feel that if the youth does not jump into the world of labor without the proper secondary and preferably tertiary education, the country will flourish as a whole socially, politically, economically and obviously intellectually.
Studies have proven that countries that prioritize the education of its citizens have had the most well developed economies. For example, among the reason behind the economic success behind the East Asian Tigers is that their governments give much focus on strengthening the educational aspect. Because their educational system is given much attention, they are well-equipped to tackle the changing world and globalization (Mok and Tan 1).
The people will be better informed of the new scientific and technological ideas needed to boost the development of out economy and apply these concepts to their given fields. Although some countries such as Pakistan and Uganda with low income rates have low primary school participation (22 percent and 32 percent, respectively), the Four Tigers, which also had low income rates back in 1960, had a participation level that ranged from 57 to 67 percent. It is said that the these countries rose from their economic state because of the well-educated citizens and their growth in skill formation. Ashton 1) This just proves that the Philippines too, with low income rates as well, can afford to focus on education and not neglect it in order to emerge from its economic situation. According to Barro-Lee’s human capital dataset on the average years of schooling attained by the population over fifteen years of age, by 1990, an increased amount of people have attained over nine years of education in South Korea and Hong Kong, which are now at level with the well developed OECD countries because of this (Ashton 1).
The Meiji government, initially focused on the establishment of universal primary education, has now been giving more attention to the development of vocational education in order to mold skilled laborers. It is believed that the focus on educational development of the government is among the key factors that contribute to the very developed Japanese industry (Bowman 5). What do all these countries have in common? An educated people and a government that supports the need a higher educational level.
This is especially important before one embarks on his or her career. According to Muhammad Shamsul Huq in his book; Education, Manpower and Development in South and Southeast Asia, “…The education sector influences economic and social development by inducing change in technology through the systematic application of scientific and other knowledge as a consequence of their division and differentiation, and in values and attitudes to provide the necessary incentives for increasing productive efficiency. (Huq 53) The World Bank supports a higher education by stating in 2003 that, “By improving people’s ability to function as members of their communities, education and training increase social cohesion, reduce crime and improve income allocation” (Farrell and Fenwick 17). It is not only the individual lives of the people that will be improved if those under eighteen years of age will have attained a high school degree by the time they enter into work, but many other sectors of the country as well, because the laborers will be better skilled and better informed on their civil responsibilities.
I feel that with my proposal, child labor will be finally put to an end because those under 18 years of age, which most would consider as the country’s youth, will either be forced to finish high school before working or not work at all and continue their education instead until they have reached the age of legalization. So either way, the youth will be better informed by their educators in their either complete or lengthened course of study. An educated people is the core of the country’s political and economic stability because these people are made aware if their civil responsibilities and work towards the good of their country. Bilodeau at al. 62) Therefore, those who are properly educated in such aspects should have the right to work and contribute to the country’s welfare. The last thing this country needs are people- under educated children, who are not informed of the common good of their country seeking out whatever job they can find weather it be illegal, demeaning, hazardous or hindering to their studies. They do not work towards the development of their country, but towards their own insufficient income. An income that can never compare to how much they would be receiving in the future if they had pursued their studies.
And this way, as mentioned, they would not only be receiving, but contributing, as well. I believe that only when individuals can actually contribute to the country and are set in doing so, the nation can flourish. The Director General of UNESCO said in 1952 that, “Ignorance is one of the factors in the tragic vicious circle of under-production, under-development, and endemic disease” (Bilodeau et al. 147). I believe that it is the state’s responsibility to take control and to fight this ignorance. Works Cited Ashtom, David and Green, Fancis and James, Donna and Sung, Johnny.
Education and Training for Development in East Asia. London:Routledge, 1999. Beyond Compulsory Schooling. France:OECD,1976. Bilodeau, Pathammavong and Quang Hong. Cumpolsory Education in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Paris:United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,1955. Bonga, Melinda and Del Rosario, Rosario. Child Labor in the Philippines. Manila:UP,2000. Bowman, Mary Jean. Educational Choice and Labor Markets in Japan. Chicago and London:The University of Chicago,1981. Compulsory Schooling in a Changing World.
France:OECD,1983. Farrell, Lesley and Fenwick, Tara. World Yearbook of Education 2007. USA and Canada:Routledge,2007. Huq, Muhammad Shamsal. Education, Manpower, and Development in South and Southeast Asia. USA; Praeger Publishers Inc, 1975. IPEC-Philippines. Child Labor; Related Laws. 26 Sept. 2006. ILO. 22 Jan. 2008 . Mok, Ka-Ho and Tan, Jason. Globalization and Marketization in Education. UK:Edward Elgar Publishing Limited. 2004. US Department of Labor. Youth and Labor: Age Requirements. 11 Dec. 2008. DOL. 11 Dec. 2008 .