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    Child Labor and Academic Performance Essay

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    Chapter I The Problem and Its Background A. Background of the Study Child labour is a worldwide problem regardless of the economic status of a country. This social phenomenon continues to exist both in developed and developing countries. The Philippines as one of Newly Industrializing Countries, also encounters the same (C. Diaz, personal communication, December 7, 2009). Child labour is rampant in this country due to poverty. It deprives basic right to education and health (Philippine Star, 1993).

    Many child labourers are forced to stop schooling due to the necessity of contributing to family’s income. Child labour with its goal to respond immediately to the basic need of the household, deprives the child of the time to focus on schooling. The health condition of the child labourers is also affected due to the exposure of children to chemicals which are mostly hazardous to their health. The time spent in working contributes also to the health of the children. More than eight hours of working is not suitable to the age of the children.

    It has also many effects in the development of the country as a whole. An increase in child labour frequently causes a decline in acquiring of human capital (Basu as cited by David & Undyaundye, 2009). Basu explained further if a child is employed all through the day, it is likely that the child will remain uneducated and have low productivity as an adult. If a child works more his productivity as an adult falls because child labour diminishes adult productivity (Pigou, 1920).

    Majority of our population comprises those who are tolerating child labour (Navidad, 2002). The existence of house helpers who are below 18 years old shows that some Filipinos tolerate child labour. One aspect of development is education. They cannot deny the fact that education in our country is also affected by poverty. There are many children who stopped from schooling due to financial incapacity in complying to school requirements. The desire also of employers to save labour cost perpetuates child labour (Manila Chronicle, 1990).

    Most of the children who are engaging in child labour are drop-outs due to poverty that have driven them to work for wages that would contribute to family’s income (Focus Phil. 1984). The Philippines has a free public education from pre-school to grade six (Sakellariou, 2004) but only 88 percent of children under-12 age group and 83 percent of children in the 6-17 age group were enrolled in 1999 (1999 Annual Poverty Incidence Survey as cited in the paper of Sakellariou).

    The schooling of these children was affected in a way that they eventually stopped from schooling. There are one million four hundred sixty eight thousand nine hundred ninety eight (1,468,000) children who are working during vacation. One million six hundred eight thousand two hundred sixty eight (1,680,068) are elementary undergraduates (Philippine National statistics Office October 2001 as cited in Labor Participation of Children among Banana Growers, 2003).

    In Region XI, there are one hundred sixty six thousand one hundred forty three (166,143) child labourers as of 2003 (Diel & Lopez, 2003). Child labour as one of the consequences of poverty and socio-economic problems is inevitable. There is a need to awaken the parents of child labourers and the society as a whole on the danger of not educating the children. Uneducated children will become liabilities instead of assets in our society. Poverty condition will be extreme due to jobless sector of the society which is mostly composed of unschooled individuals.

    For a parent not to educate the child is a breach of duty not only toward the child but also toward the members of the community generally, who are all liable to suffer seriously from the consequences of ignorance and want of education in their fellow citizens (Mill, 1970). Children should be protected from over work and working beyond their capacity. B. Conceptual framework C. Statement of the Problem How does child labour affect the academic performance of child labourers in Barangay Ilang, Davao City? D. Hypothesis Child labour decreases the academic performance of child labourers working in

    Ilang, Davao City. E. Scope and Limitations of the Study This study will only focus on the effects of child labour to the academic performance of children aged 7-15 years old in Barangay Ilang, Davao City. These children were enrolled for the school year 2009-2010. Teachers who may have noticed the changes in the academic performance of child laborers are alo included. The grades will be the basis of academic performance. General average in school year 2009-2010 will be used to measure the academic performance. F. Significance of the Study

    This study is an attempt to know the situation of child labourers, aged 7-15 years old who are working in Barangay Ilang, Davao City and the problems that they may encounter in their schooling due to their work. In presenting peculiar circumstances surrounding their academic performance particularly their involvement in child labour, this paper aims to prompt government agencies and non-government organizations concerned to work on providing a comprehensive program that will gradually put an end to their child labour and if not, to provide mechanisms to ensure that working children attain their potential academically.

    This study will serve as a source of data for further research on the condition of academic performance of child labourers; the information to be gathered from the study will provide insights into crafting appropriate government legislations that will address the protection of children’s rights in relation to better education. G. Definition of Terms Child labour refers to the children 7-15 years of age who are working voluntarily and involuntarily in exchange for money Voluntary labour refers to the work which is done deliberately by the child labourers.

    Deliberate implies full consciousness of the child labourers towards the nature of the activity and its consequences. Child labourers are working voluntarily are free from compulsion of parents and other individuals. Involuntary labour refers to the work done in exchange for money through compulsion of external forces such as dictate of parents and other individuals. Academic performance refers to the attendance, participation of the child labourers in school which is measurable by grades. Social Class refers to the economic status of the participants in this study which is measurable by their daily earnings.

    Socio-demographic profile refers to location, age, sex distribution, parents educational attainment, occupation, income, family size, number of members working in the family, educational status and attainment, and who pays for the tuition. Chapter II Review of Related Literature A quarter of the world’s children (410 million) live in South Asia (Child Workers in Asia, 1994). These children continually experience problems with their health, nutrition, and education. They are also exposed to abuse, violence and environmental hazards, their assumption of responsibilities from their parents at their young age.

    They are also exposed to child labour and sexual exploitation. These problems are challenges that were encountered in the past but solution is still to be figured out. Child labour in South Asia exists in different forms (Costs and Rewards of Child Labor in Sasa Wharf, Davao City, 1999). The vast agricultural lands in South Asia and their dependence to agriculture as source of income influence the rampant child labour. Many families consider the children as wealth of the family in agricultural communities. Child labour also exists in the informal sector, domestic service, and industrial and service sector.

    Nevertheless, all countries in South Asia region have enacted legislations against child labour. In the Philippines, child labour is also a problem. According to National Statistics Office Director, Agnes Tecson, there are about 3. 7 million child labourers in the Philippines. More than 2. 5 million are classified as “unpaid workers” in their own family-operated businesses. While some 900,000 child labourers work in private establishments, while more than 350,000 are household helps 270,000 are self-employed. Two-third of this population is in vending, household helping and shoe shining. About 3. million nationwide are forced to work for survival and 250 million worldwide. Of this number are in hazardous work. They cope with noxious fumes, machinery that can crush them, unhealthy noise levels, and the prospect of drowning. Many of them are invisible behind factory walls and prostitution dens. There are even cases of kid workers who are four years old (Child Labor in Digos City: A Baseline Study, 2002). In the study conducted by Ateneo de Davao University (Fernandez & Manapol as cited in paper of Navidad, 2002), it was pointed out that the children, especially those at Sasa Wharf, Davao City and Makar Wharf, Gen.

    Santos City, who dived for coins suffered from upper respiratory infections as result of their exposure to harmful chemicals. Melanie P. Ramos (of the Institute on Church and Social Issues) in her commentary article “The Many Faces of Child Labor”, Philippine Daily Inquirer, describes another form of child labour in the Philippines. Hiring child domestic workers to care for our homes has been a common practice in our country. Many are hiring yayas to care for their children. Many household are also having houseboys and housemaids to manage household chores. Many of these household helpers are below 18 years old.

    They are present but most of the time members of household do not see them. They are often the subjects of verbal lashings and worst physical abuse. Sometimes they are being considered as less human by members of household. The fact that they are being compensated whether fair or not to render service is immaterial as, they seem to be merely servants. The fact that they are vulnerable and they cannot fight back against their employers, they have to endure silently if only to hold on to their jobs and earn enough money to send to their starving families in the provinces (Navidad, 2002).

    Poverty is the main cause, but not the only cause of child labour. Many poor societies do not tolerate child labour while others do. Child labour exists also because of unawareness and tolerance ( O’ Donell, 1996). Most children are forced to work in order to supplement the family’s insufficient income. Some children have to work whether they like it or not because their parents wanted them to work, a situation beyond the control of business establishments that accept child labourers.

    Others work in order to pay their own schooling and others also are working because they are told to do so instead of doing nothing (United Nations Commission on Human Rights as cited in Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, 2007). There are three reasons of the existence of child labour in our country. As mentioned the first one which is poverty. The presence of street children and child labourers are twin effects of poverty in our country. Children feel the need to uplift themselves from the insufficiency of income.

    The intense need for money is seen when children accept payments even if it is not a fair payment. A traditional distorted belief is the second reason of the presence of child labour. There are poor families who believe that children must help to pay and support the family. Children are sometimes sacrificed at the very young age. The third reason is convenience on the employer. It is very convenient to many employers and company owners to hire or accept children because they are not complaining much. Children are not also requiring social security, health insurance and other benefits from their employers (Maximiano, 2007).

    According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) child labour is employing children below 15 years old in factories and industries where they are not directly under the supervision of their parents. It endangers the kids’ right to health, education and general well-being. The innocence of the children is often exploited. There are cases of sex workers which involve sex workers. Some are also engaged in sexual acts and pornography. Child labour is defined as work for wages and carries the effects that are detrimental to the growth and development of children.

    Child labour also means a work situation where children are compelled to work on regular basis to earn a living for themselves and their families and as a result are disadvantageous to education and social sphere; where children also work in condition that are exploitative and damaging to their health and to their physical and mental development and where children are also separated from their families. They are often deprived of educational and training opportunities. There are several laws passed and implemented in Congress to protect those working children. One of those laws is the Labor Code of the Philippines.

    Article 139 states that “No child below 15 years of age shall be employed except when he works directly under sole responsibility of his parents or guardian and his employment does not in a way interfere with his schooling. It also provides that no person below 18 years of age employed in undertaking that is hazardous or deleterious in nature”. The law provides that child is one of the most important assets of the nation. Every effort should be exerted to promote his welfare and enhance his opportunities for useful and happy life (Article I, Presidential Decree No. 603).

    What is happening is that children are not protected and treated as an asset of the State because implementations of laws are not properly executed. Children who are engaging in child labour encounter effects which are negative to their education. Fifty one and eight percent of the participants in the said study encounter problems in school due to the fact that they are child labourer. Low grades, absenteeism and tardiness are being encountered by child labourers (Child Labor in Digos City, 2002). Most of the child labourers are dropouts due to the need to earn in order to contribute to family’s income.

    They are small boys in marketplaces carrying man size loads usually consisting of farm produce sometimes across town to the very doorsteps of customers (Jara as cited by Navidad in her research Child labor in Digos City, 2002). Another law R. A 7658, otherwise known as “An Act Prohibiting the Employment of Children Below Fifteen Years of Age in Private and Public Undertakings provides that children below fifteen years of age shall not be employed, permitted or suffered to work in any public or private establishment where they are not directly under the responsibility of their parents or guardians.

    Article 32 on the Convention on the rights of the Child recognizes the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development ( O’ Donell, 1996). Laboris exploitative Labour is an expression to achieve the purpose of human being. It is labour that distinguishes human being from other animals.

    It is an activity in which man and nature coordinate to transform nature and change also his own nature (Ritzer, 2008). Work transforms our needs, and our consciousness. We produce out of our purposes in life. Karl Marx calls this process of production driven by our purpose as objectification. The term labour as used by Marx is not limited to economic activities; it encompasses all productive actions in which transform material aspects of nature according to our purpose.

    Whatever is created through this free purposive activity is both an expression of our human nature and a transformation of it (Ritzer, 2008). In present condition of society, the theory of Karl Marx is useful in explaining the phenomenon of exploitation. There is a great inequity in our society. Human being is now alienated from the work. Production based on the internal mechanism is endangered by individuals who have a great capital or money. Labour becomes a means in achieving the desired end which is no other than, money.

    In being money oriented, labour is no longer a free purposive activity. In the society, there are many workers who own little but produce great commodities in exchange of money for few individuals who have great capital. These capitalists own a lot such as commodities, means of producing commodities, and the labour time of the workers, which they purchase through the wages. Child labour is one of the existing inequities in our society. The exercise of power is also the process of exploiting workers. Individuals who own big companies inevitably exploit those who do not have money.

    Owners of big companies exploit whether they want or in order to compete with other owners. Given with this social condition, individuals form class based on the common conflict with others. There is an inherent conflict of interest between those who hire wage labourers and those who labour. This inherent conflict produces classes (Ollman as cited in Sociological theory, 2008). Child labourers are existing reflection of class conflict in our society. Even their education is deprived due to inequitable distribution of resources. They are the children of parents who do not have stable source of income.

    Social class and educational chances There is a link between social class and education. The work of psychologist of education in the 1930s and 1940s in trying to relate intelligence, as measured by IQ tests, to social class set the scene for later work by sociologist on the theme of the ‘wastage of talent” (Harber & Meighan, 2007). According to sociologists and psychologists equality of educational opportunity was not in evidence, since many working class children with high intelligence were either not reaching grammar school or underachieving if they get there.

    The higher the social class, the greater the chance of achieving educational qualifications. Male children of professional and managerial parents (Social class I) are the most likely to obtain degrees (Reid (1986) as cited in A sociology of educating, 2007). The children of unskilled manual parents (Social class IV) are four per cent obtaining degrees and sixty per cent achieving no qualifications. Mackinson on other hand, argues that the tendency for middle class children to do better in education than working class is only a beginning.

    For him, educational success is correlated with social class, but that it is caused by social class is a proposition that raises difficulties. Educational success can be correlated also to children’s intelligence as measured by IQ tests, and parental attitudes. Chapter III Research Method and Procedure In this chapter, the researcher present the different methods that will be employed in this study including the research method, locale of the study, unit of analysis, population and sampling procedures, variables and measures, instruments and statistical treatment of the data. A. Research Method

    This study will use ‘between-method triangulation’ or across-method triangulation involves combining and utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods in studying the effects of child labour to the academic performance of child labourers. Qualitative method will be use in explaining the effects of labor on the academic performance of the child labourers while quantitative method will be utilized by the researcher in knowing to what extent that their academic performance was affected by child labour. This research method is suitable in understanding the phenomenon of child labor and how it affects grades of children who are working.

    B. Locale of the Study This study will be conducted in a community-based setting, specifically in Barangay Ilang, Davao City. C. Unit of Analysis The researcher identified the children who are working in Barangay Ilang, Davao City as unit of analysis. The children are being identified through the help of Florie May Tacang of Kaugmaon Center for Children’s Concerns. These children are varies in ages 7-12 years old, gender with their male and female, educational background and the social classes of participant, such as lower or middle classes.

    These children are just working but not residing in the said community. D. Sampling Procedure The researcher in this study identified the participants using Sloven’s formula (n = N / (1 + Ne) with the margin of error 0. 02. Purposive or judgmental sampling was utilized in choosing the sample size. The units to be observed are selected on the basis of the researcher’s judgment about which one will be the most useful or representative of population. E. Instruments The researcher observed ethical standards in conducting this study.

    Researcher designed survey questionnaire for the respondents detailing of the effects of child labour in the academic performance of child labourers. The researcher was able to construct questionnaire which was checked by the teacher in research. The researcher constructed closed ended questions in order to get the corresponding answer to the questions. The academic performance of the child labourers will be measured through their general average for school year 2009-2010. Focus group discussion will conducted on the period of data gathering in order to support the information taken from the survey questionnaire.

    F. Statistical Treatment of Data The researcher is planning to use correlation Pearson correlation. Two variables are measured on at least interval scales, and it determines the extent to which values of the two variables are “proportional” to each other. This statistical tool will enable the researcher to figure out the relationship of child labour on the academic performance of child labourers in Barangay Ilang, Davao City. This tool guarantees high level of reliability on the data that will be analyzed by the researcher.

    Child labour will be measured by the number of hours spend on work while academic performance, by grades. Bibliography Basu, M. , (1998). Child Labour: Causes, consequences and cure with remarks on international David, U. ,Undyaundye, F. (2009). Child labour in Nigeria: causes and consequences for national development. Retrived from Social Science Research Network. (SSRN id 1514460) Labour Standards. Economic Journal New York. Dacalus, S. , Dasalia, G. , Mamontuan, K. ,(1991). Costs and rewards of child labor in Sasa wharf, Davao City. Diel, H. C. ,Lopez G. (2003).

    Labor participation of children among banana growers(Undergraduate dissertation, Ateneo de Davao University,2003). Harber, C. , Meighan, R. , (2007). A sociology of education Jara,(1984) Maximiano, J B. (2007), Business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Challenging Child Labor,18, 123-125. Maximiano, J B. (2007), Global Business ethics for Filipinos in the new millenium . Challenging Child Labor, 166. Mill, J. J. (1970) Principles of Political Economy: Penguin Harmondsworth U. K. Navidad, F M. (2002), Child labor in Digos City: a baseline study O’Donnell, D. 1996), Children are people too. Child labor, article 28, 120-121. Pigou, A. C. (1920) The Economics of Welfare: Macmillan London. Ritzer, G. (2008), Sociological Theory. McGraw-Hill. N. Y. Sakellariou, C. (2004). Child labor and schooling in the Philippines. Retrieved from http:www. childprotection. org. ph (date accessed) (1984, April 21). Working children,a common sight in 3rd world . Focus Philippines. vol. 12(22):6-7. (1990, November 24). Understanding poverty. Manila Chronicle. P. 7 sec. 2. (1993, July 2). Poverty. Philippine Star, pp. 1, 10. Child Workers in Asia. (1994)

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