The News Today Online Edition - Iloilo News and Panay News

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Eye Opener

Computer games blamed for student dropouts

About 30 percent of secondary students have stopped schooling before they have finished either first or fourth year high school due to poverty, loss of interest in education and influence of computer games. Influence of computer games is prevalent among poor and middle class students, although the rich ones are also greatly affected. In an interview with Radyo Bombo Wednesday evening, Iloilo Schools Division Superintendent Raymundo Lapating admitted that computer games affect the studies of high school students since most of their waking hours are spent in computer games. It was observed that poverty may be remedied such that high school students can attend classes in the evening by doing some part time job during daytime by selling newspapers, act as errand boys in the stores, etc. As for girls, they can be useful as household help or washing clothes in private houses or serve as waitress in carinderias.

The Department of Labor and Employment in the city should endeavor to give the poverty-stricken students with temporary employment in households, establishments and malls. Other government agencies can also help by employing poor but deserving students either in their offices or in companies during the daytime.

As observed by teachers and parents, students cut classes in the mid-morning or afternoon so as to play in computer houses. They spend their food allowances on computer games and sacrifice their health as they would always miss food since their little money goes to computer games. They are already lazy to study at home since they are preoccupied with either watching or playing computer games.

City Councilors should pass an ordinance prohibiting computer houses within the radius of one or two kilometers from school as many students are tempted to play computer games as these are in front of the schools, colleges and universities.

A city ordinance requiring computer houses not to admit students during classes in the morning and the afternoon may help prevent them from cutting classes or be absent in school. The necessary penalty for computer houses violating the city ordinance may cause the closure of the establishment if the violation is repeated for three times. City school officials should do something before the situation runs out of control and the students' dropout is in alarming proportion. Parents and guardians can also help by requiring their children to come home after classes and limiting their daily allowances to transportation expenses.

The city government should also require computer houses to maintain a logbook so that teachers and parents can check on the computer houses how often their students and children go to computer houses. Strict enforcement should be done by the city government as well as the provincial government if only to save the future of our youth who are the hope of the fatherland.