EASTERN VISAYAS CHILD SCHOOL AND LABOR PARTICIPATION TREND PATTERNS AND DETERMINANTS
JOSE ELMER E. LAVADO
MA DEMOGRAPHY (APRIL 2011)
Eastern Visayas’ low school participation rate of children ( 78 percent in elementary and 60 percent in secondary for SY 2006-2007) suggests that the region will be far behind in achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal basic education for all by 2015. With four years left before 2015, attaining this goal for Eastern Visayas would entail concerted efforts from government and other sectors. Characterization of children who are not attending school is important to find ways to bring them back to classrooms. On the other hand, children who drop out from school in order to work must also be investigated because not only are they are not in school but they are also considered “child labor”. This thesis hopes to provide policy handles to address these two- pronged issues. The study used the data of Labor Force Surveys (LFS) from April 2005 up to April 2009 to examine the level, trend, patterns, and differentiate of school participation in Eastern Visayas and the merged data of the 2007 LFS and the 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) to identify determinants of out-of-school children and their labor participation.
Results reveal that Eastern Visayas has a considerably lower school participation rate of children compared to the national average, but the trend from January 2006 to January 2009 shows a consistent increase. The saw-tooth pattern of quarterly school participation rate of children in Eastern Visayas since 2005 is evident.
The multivariate logistic regression model predicting the odds of out-of-school children in Eastern Visayas are significantly influenced by three household characteristics (number of children 0-14 years old, number of employed household members 15-59 years old and household education cost),two household head characteristics (education and kind of business industry) and two child characteristics (age and sex). The sex of a child significantly interacted with the household head’s kind of business industry. Male out of school children who belong to households whose head works in agriculture industry have two times the odds of working compared to female children whose household head works in a non-agriculture industry. Among out-of-school children, their labor participation is influenced by two important predictors (household number of employed members aged 15-59 years old, and age of child) net of the effect of other predictors in the optimal model. The above main findings imply that Eastern Visayas’ children school participation rate may be improved by giving priority in government programs like Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to young male children particularly in households with large number of children below 15 years of age and have low education investment, and whose households head has low education and works in agricultural industry. Moreover, advocacy efforts for employed parents and household members on long-term developmental effects of using labor should be pursued.