Jocelyn E. Morano
Philippine Information Agency
December 12, 2010
Butuan City (10 December) — The Pro-Drop Out Reduction Program (PRO-DORP) Team from Cantilan, Surigao del Sur received an award from President Benigno Simeon Aquino III as one of this year’s winner of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) in a ceremony held on December 9 at the Heroes’ Hall in Malacañan Palace aired over Radyo ng Bayan stations nationwide.
Seven years ago, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur only had one public high school, the Cantilan National High School having a population of 1,013 students.
Based on records, the school had an alarming dropout rate of 15.28% in the school year 2003-2004.
As a response to the disturbing reality, the PRO DORP Team formally set up the Reach-Out-Not-Drop-Out-Program in 2007 which addressed the individual issues hindering students from staying in school.
In line with this program, four sub-programs namely, Suporta Mo Kinabukasan Ko, Feed My Brain, Maglaro at Mag-usap Tayo, and EmpATHY were formulated based on the components family, individual, community and school respectively.
Representatives for each sub programs discovered valuable information on why students kept dropping out.
From the Suporta Ko, Kinabukasan Mo program, it was found out that 80% of the students could not pay miscellaneous fees on time which was resolved by launching an effort of scouting for some sponsors.
Through Feed My Brain, the problem of poor comprehension because of malnutrition was countered with a feeding program.
Meanwhile, Maglaro at Mag-usap Tayo focused in addressing the presence of gangs inside the campus by intensifying school activities and group counseling.
EmpATHY or Empower the Teachers to Help the Young on the other hand realized that teachers likewise needed to address the personal as well as the student’s emotional problems through counseling.
Painstakingly the PRO DORP Team sustained the programs which resulted to positive results.
As of school year 2009-2010, the drop-out rate has been successfully reduced to 1.87%, a staggering 13% difference compared to the drop-out rate recorded in school year 2003-2004.
To this date, the PRO DORP Team continued with the programs and is now aiming for a 0% drop-out rate by 2015, inspired by the improvement showed by students of Cantilan.
Other TAYO Awardees are Mandaya Tribal Youth Organization from Mabetas, Upper Ulip, Monkayo, Compostela Valley; Pag-Asa Youth Organization Talisay City Chapter from Cebu; Pagaypay 4-H Club of Barangay Pagaypay, Passi City, Iloilo; Link.Exe-West Visayas State University of Iloilo City; Brotherhood for Peace, Baguio City; Education Revolution Movement (EdRev), Sta. Maria, Bulacan; Pochon Maanichar Centennial Batch Association, Inc., Ifugao Province; Alay ni Ignacio (ANI)-Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City and the Philippine Stagers Foundation from Balic-Balic in Manila.
Each of the winning groups received 50,000 pesos cash grants from Coca Cola Foundation Philippines and custom-made trophies specially crafted by Artist Toym de Leon Imao, wherein a total of 70 youth organizations made it to the finals, 19 of them were from Mindanao.
TAYO campaigns for citizens not to rely on government, but to work on improving their communities by themselves where qualifiers range from 15-30 years old. (Radyo ng Bayan Butuan/PIA-Caraga)