About 1.5 million students in the entire Central Visayas trooped to different schools for the opening of classes last week.

However, according to the data gathered by the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) about 41,634 individuals in Central Visayas did not complete any grade level ages 6-25 years old based on the household assessment result conducted by the office on July 2011 using the Proxy Means Test (PMT).

Data further showed that most of the poor individuals with no grade level completed are found in the Province of Cebu with 22,524. This is followed by Negros Oriental with 12,392, then Bohol with 6,327 and Siquijor with 391. Meanwhile, 96,937 poor individuals finished elementary, 89,995 individuals completed high school, and 1,219 individuals were able to finish their college degree.

To further illustrate, more than half or about 58% of the total poor individuals ages 6-25 were sent to public school and only 1% studied in private school. Nevertheless, 41% poor individuals did not attend school because of poverty.

DSWD-7 encourages the Local Government Units (LGUs) and Non- Government Organization (NGO) to use the Listahanan available data to formulate appropriate social protection programs and services specifically to address the education problem in the country.

Listahanan uses PMT as a statistical model that estimates the income of families based on observable and verifiable variables such as housing conditions, household composition, access to basic services and education of household members.

Using this model, the government can predict the income of a household and compare it with the poverty threshold of the province and classify whether the family is poor or non-poor. (PR – Kerwin R. Macopia)