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Parents, guardians face jail time in planned compulsory educ law

Lawmakers pushed for the Compulsory Education Act of the City that will mandate all children age 6 to 17 to be enrolled in schools.

The proposed ordinance, authored by acting vice mayor Albert Ungab, who chairs the committee on appointments and government reorganization, said the local government seeks to strengthen the compulsory access to education for elementary and high school-age kids.

This is so the city can “fully promote and develop their skills and potentials during those formative years.”

Based on the proposed ordinance, children age 6-17 years old “shall have the right to education which includes the right to avail kinder, basic elementary, secondary and technical and vocational education appropriate to their evolving capacity.”

Parents and guardians have the responsibility to make sure the children are given all the opportunities to get a quality education.

Meanwhile, educational institutions shall also provide the city government, through the City Social Services and Development Office, the names of truant students.

“Truancy has become of the major problems in schools, negatively affecting the one’s future,” Ungab said in the ordinance.

As provided, truant students are those students missing 30 minutes of instruction without an excuse five times during the school year or five consecutive absences from classes.

In the proposal, any parent or guardian who, willfully or without justifiable cause, fails to enroll a child of compulsory age shall be required to attend community seminary on the importance of education to be organized by the barangay officials, in coordination with school officials, for the first offense.

For the second offense, they will be obliged to render free community service in a public elementary or secondary school.

Meanwhile, for third and subsequent offenses, the parent or guardian shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period.

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