The Department of Education (DepEd) has announced Monday that they are set to tap 12,300 out of school youths (OSYs) and train them to produce health soaps for Central Luzon’s 1.3 million public school students.
“We are counting on some 12,300 OSYs to produce herb-based health soaps which we intend to distribute to schoolchildren suffering from various skin ailments in Tarlac and Pampanga,” Edcation Secretary Jesli Lapus said.
Lapus furthered that the “cash-in-soap” program was in line with Gloria Arroyo’s Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) in the face of the worsening global economic crisis. At the same time, Lapus says that while the program would provide alternative livelihood to the idle youths, it will also addresses the problem of head lice and skin diseases among public school children.
The education chief lauded the program because of its “multiplier effect” on Central Luzon’s local economy because of the jobs and additional income (P4,000 for making 2,000 soaps in a 20 day period) it will generate; but he seems to be missing the point that the DepEd should be working doubly hard to provide these idle youths education and not soap making skills.
Lapus should leave jobs generation to the Labor Department and focus on addressing the issue of why we have thousands of OSYs in the first place.
The Philippine Government has once again revealed its misplaced and elitist mindset when it comes to the OSY issue. After their idea of employing the army of idle youths to collect garbage and sweep city streets, now they want them to make soap.
They belong in school for petesake.