Filipino families borrow money for education


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Despite the establishment of a tuition-free public education system, an estimated 36% of Filipino families still borrow money to pay for expenses related to sending their children to school.

This was revealed in the 2021-2022 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

The report noted that there are still many hidden costs involved in sending a child to school, such as school uniforms and supplies.

“New data shows that the costs of education bear disproportionately on households in the poorest countries. In low- and lower-middle-income countries, households cover 39% of the cost of education, with the government covering the rest, compared to just 16%. percent in high-income countries, ”the report points out.

Globally, the report’s findings highlighted that families in low- and middle-income countries cover the high cost of education compared to those in high-income countries.

About 8 percent of families borrow to pay for their education, with the figure rising to 12 percent in low-income countries and 30 percent or more in Haiti, Kenya, the Philippines and Uganda.

GEM report director Manos Antoninis stressed the need to make education more accessible, recognizing the hidden costs of education for families, forcing them to borrow money to be able to send their children home. ‘school.

“We have underestimated how much families still pay for education when governments say it should be free. On top of that, the impact of Covid-19 (2019 coronavirus disease) has further squeezed family budgets. to pay the tuition fees accordingly, ”he stressed.

Antoninis urged governments to take a closer look at the situation of families to deal with the rising cost of educating children.

“They need to focus on ensuring that education is free at the point of access – and that the poorest are not denied a good quality education,” he added.

Unesco has recommended that governments redouble their efforts to guarantee free and publicly funded access to preschool and 12-year primary and secondary education, by monitoring direct household education expenditure through income. and the expenditures identified.

The report also warns of the rising costs of education for households sending their children to private institutions, making some educational opportunities inaccessible to the poor. Unesco has advised governments to strengthen their capacity to monitor and enforce regulations on the cost of education in private schools.

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