LAWMAKER WANTS HOMELESS CHILDREN TO HAVE BETTER ACCESS TO BASIC EDUCATION
QUEZON City 5th District Rep. PM Vargas filed a bill that will improve homeless children and youth’s access to basic education.
House Bill 7613 or the proposed Educational Success for Homeless Children and Youth law aims to expand the government’s support to this marginalized sector by ensuring that there are available education programs tailor-fit to their unique circumstances.
Vargas cited international studies stating that 23 percent of homeless students must repeat a grade compared to 1.5 percent of non-homeless students.
“The barriers faced by homeless children and youth to accessing education are rather unique, which can begin with their lack of legal identification and permanent address or guardian,” he said in his explanatory note.
The lawmaker also cited studies that showed that homeless children have lower survival rates in schools due to stigmatization and inadequate support within classrooms. These can cause harm to their already psychologically vulnerable states, studies said.
Vargas’ measure seeks to realize that homeless children and youth should be as visible as their non-homeless counterparts by proposing a strengthened mechanism for identifying children and youth who are homeless.