Academic journal article The English Teacher

Investigating Functional Reading Literacy and Dropout Rate

Academic journal article The English Teacher

Investigating Functional Reading Literacy and Dropout Rate

Article excerpt

Introduction

The high percentage of dropouts is one of the major problems that public elementary and even secondary schools in the Philippines have confronted for many years. It is a perennial problem ever since that the country has insurmountable rate of reported student dropouts. Chareonrat (2016) has stated that the escalating dropout percentage of students is considered a priority in many educational entities. Many factors have contributed to its worsening condition such as poverty, family problems, peer influence, juvenile delinquency, and other vices that involve students. Rizal (2015) has affirmed that poverty reduction could be address through education in the light of enhancing human resources quality.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has initiated programs to address and look for a long-term solution for dropout reduction. The most popular is the Dropout Reduction Program (DORP) Implementation in Strong Republic Schools (SRSs) in line with the goal of the Philippine Education for All (EFA) 2015 to improve the retention of students who are already enrolled in the public schools. DORP aims to identify major risk factors which prevent students from completing formal education; to identify appropriate intervention for students-at-risk of dropping out (SARDO); to formulate Dropout Reduction Plan in the school and division levels; and to conduct Student Tracking System (DepEd Memorandum No. 553 s. 2008)

Public schools are required by the DepED to put up the Student Tracking System is one of the important components of the Three-Year School Improvement Plan. It traces out-of-school youth within the community to encourage them to study again. It is done by a special committee of every public elementary and secondary schools before the opening of classes. In addition, Kleebbua (2015) has opined that extracurricular activities could aid in enhancing students' reading and writing skills.

Causes of dropout rate escalation may not be only of those which mentioned external factors but include the condition of the school facilities and learning atmosphere as well. Teachers within the school may also be potential contributors. The way the teacher performs the teaching-learning process which students may not be motivated and learning seems to be bored may be a factor of their dropout. Furthermore, the relationship and treatment of learners to one another may have psychological and emotional effects that may cause their dropout from school. If there is a bully classmate, who always hurts and threats others, this is also may cause fear for students to come to school.

The performance reading level or literacy of a child may also be a possible factor of his school dropout. If the child basics reading does not progress well, the child is not competent enough to follow the curriculum and automatically his comprehension and analysis are affected. Thus, learning is a struggle for him which possibly he may quit his study.

The problem in the increase of dropout rate has always been associated with reading literacy of learners. The competencies taught in the classroom require comprehension. If learners do not have strong foundation in reading, it would be difficult for them to attain the learning objectives. Learners may opt to dropout schooling if they could not read and learn the subject matter and if their teachers retained them because they failed the test. These could possibly have psychological and emotional impact to them to feel disheartened and uninterested to pursue their studies.

A study by Jarjoura (1996) has found out that those who dropped education for personal reason were likely to exhibit offensive behavior and those who left with economic struggle appeared less inclined to offend than those who graduated independently from indigent lifestyle. Based on a national representative probability sample, the study revealed that the propensity to engage in delinquency after early school dropout is dependent on the reason for leaving and the poverty status of the youth involved. …

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