Helping children access education

Children in school

Save the Children helps thousands of Filipino children go to school because we know how much an education can change a child’s life.

Although the Philippines has a good school attendance rate, it is still estimated that 6.2 million primary-school aged children are not in school. Sometimes it’s because they live in an area affected by disaster, there aren’t enough teachers, they can’t afford books or uniforms, or they have to work to support their family. Others drop out or even graduate from poor quality schools without learning basic literacy and numeracy skills. For children with disabilities, schools are often physically inaccessible to them or unable to cater for special learning needs - less than 3% of disabled children in the Philippines has access to education.

Educating children in the Philippines

Education is a path out of poverty for many children and their families. It gives them a chance to gain valuable knowledge and skills, and improve their lives. Save the Children works to improve access to quality education for all children – girls and boys – no matter where they live. We're helping children realise their full potential by implementing programs ranging from early childhood development, to basic education through to adolescent learning.

We know early learning gives young children the chance to learn, grow and prepare for school - and yet only a third of young children in the Philippines has access to quality early childhood development classes. In 2013, we reached over 50,360 parents and children aged between 0-3 with First Read, a program designed to build on parents' knowledge, skills and resources to encourage their children's early reading skills. We've also helped publish and distribute books for young children in three minority indigenous languages as well as documented indigenous songs, stories and games. By supporting community play and story groups, we're ensuring that even more young children transition successfully into primary school.

As children reach school-age and start primary school, some find it harder to enrol in school, stay in school or participate fully in lessons. This is a particular issue for children from minority ethnic communities, children from families affected by HIV/AIDS and children with disabilities. Both Charlene and Kit-kit are prime examples of children who face daily challenges in just attending school - Kit-kit with his disability, distance to school and the poverty his family faces. In addition to poverty, Charlene also battles the lack of importance placed on education in her community. We're tackling these issues and improving access to quality education by supporting primary schools with teacher training, building classrooms with better facilities, as well as providing dual language learning materials.

Our Adolescent Learning programs provide young people who’ve become disengaged from education with support to develop the skills and resilience to turn their lives around. By helping to develop the vocational and entrepreneurial skills of young people, we are providing them with opportunities for a more productive future.

Education in emergencies

Emergencies cause serious disruptions to a child’s education. It is crucial for their development, safety, and recovery for children to return to school as soon as possible. In emergency situations where the education system is unable to function as normal, Save the Children establishes temporary learning centres and provides safe environments for children to learn and play. We’re currently providing access to education and support to children affected by Typhoon Yolanda. 

What you can do to save the children

Save the Children’s First Read project provides early education and care programs for young children across impoverished communities.

At the same time, we train hundreds of teachers, community workers, and parents on proper childcare.

Save the Children also helps repair and improve daycare centers and learning spaces for children.

Our KASALI program provides inclusive education among children with disabilities, making sure they are protected from abuse and discrimination.

We need your support to further improve and expand our reach. Help give a child the gift of learning. Sign up and donate today.

The gift of education

Save the Children aims to break inter-generational poverty by keeping children in school.

We also support those without formal education in their transition into adulthood. We provide skills training for the youth, which helps them in gaining future employment or in running their own business.

Together, let’s bring children closer to their dreams. Save a child today!