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Is the Net Enrollment Rate Estimate of the Philippines Accurate?

Is the Net Enrollment Rate Estimate of the Philippines Accurate?

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This brief explains how improvements in the estimation of education key indicators will result in better policy making and implementation in the sector, and consequently greater contributions to development.
This brief explains how improvements in the estimation of education key indicators will result in better policy making and implementation in the sector, and consequently greater contributions to development.

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Published by: Asian Development Bank on Jul 10, 2013
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Is the Net Enrollment RateEstimate of the PhilippinesAccurate?
Dalisay S. Maligalig Sining Cuevas
Senior Statistician Economist/Statistician (Consultant)Economics and Research Department Economics and Research DepartmentAsian Development Bank Asian Development Bank 
he net enrollment rate (NER) is one of the most important and citededucation indicators. It is the leading education indicator for theMillennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the World Declaration onEducation for All (EFA), to which the Philippines is committed. The NER is also used to monitor education policies and programs of the government as well asto identify areas that need intervention. Because of the declining trend of NER since2001, the Philippines is not expected to attain the common goal of the government,MDGs, and EFA—to achieve universal primary education by 2015. Moreover, thegovernment has to redirect its plans on basic education.However, based on the results of the Annual Poverty Indicator Survey (APIS) that theNational Statistics Office (NSO) conducts, the decline of the NER is not as significantas that of the estimates of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Figure 1. Also, acloser look at the provincial NERs (Figure 2) showed that there are many data pointsthat are more than 100% as well as some very low ones. This situation suggests possibleerrors in deriving the subnational NERs, which could probably cascade up to thenational level NER.It is important that NER is estimated accurately to support the effectiveimplementation of government policies and programs. This policy brief examinesthe estimation procedure of NER that can be improved to provide a better gauge fordevelopment in basic education.
Comparison with Survey Estimates
NER for the primary school level is the ratio of the total enrollment for the official agegroup in the elementary to the population of the same age group in a given year. TheBasic Education Information System (BEIS) compiles total enrollment while NSOestimates the total population in the specific age group. All public and private schoolsreport their total enrollment for specific age groups to the school district supervisorwho, in turn, reports the summary statistics to the next level of hierarchy until the
JEL Classification: I2ISBN 978-92-9092-040-3ISSN 2218-2675Publication Stock No. ABF102105
Key Points
 NER is an important indicatorfor policy making. The rapid decline of NER inrecent years is worrisome if truebut data from other reliablesources show that the declineis largely caused by obsoleteand inaccurate populationage-group projections and thenoncompliance to DepEd’sguidelines on official age ofentry to primary school. More careful estimationsuggests that there has beena decline in NER but not assevere as the official DepEdstatistics indicated. Improvement in theestimation of key indicatorswill result in better policymaking and implementation,and consequently greatercontributions to development.
summary statistics reaches BEIS. On the other hand, NSOprovides projections to the DepEd for specific age groupsfor each province and independent city based on the mostrecent census of population and housing (CPH).
 APIS was used to validate the NERs and identify themost probable source of errors, if any. Since 1998, APIS isundertaken during some of the intervening years of theFamily Income and Expenditure Survey such as in 2002,2004, and 2007. These surveys are of national coveragewith more than 50,000 sample households covering the85 provinces in the Philippines.Because the age of each household member, whether heor she is attending school, and reason for not attendingschool are captured in APIS, (a) the total number of age 6–11 years in the primary school and (b) the totalage group population can be estimated. Hence, theratio of (a) to (b) can be considered equivalent to NER.Table 1 shows the comparison between APIS and DepEdestimates.The equivalent DepEd numbers for (a) and (b) arewithin one standard deviation of the corresponding APISestimates. However, based on APIS, the NER equivalentestimate did not decline from 2002 to 2007. This isbecause compared with APIS, DepEd’s total 6–11 agegroup population was underestimated in 2002 while itwas overestimated in 2007. From 2002 to 2006, DepEdused population annual average growth rate (AAGR)from the 2000 CPH, 2.34%, to project the annual totalage 6–11 population. For 2007, however, DepEd usedactual population counts but it did not review the NER series based on the 2007 CPH population AAGR. Usually,when AAGR is updated from a more recent census, dataseries that employs population projections are revised andbacktracked.
To further improve the estimation of NER, age specificprojections for a single year can be applied. From the5-year age group (e.g., 0–4, 5–9) in a 5-calendar yearinterval (e.g., 2000, 2005) that NSO publishes in itswebsite, we estimated the annual total populationfor age 6–11 from 2002 to 2007. Using these roughestimates and DepEd’s total enrollment, this NER series showed a slight decrease from 2002 to 2007compared with DepEd’s series (last column, Table 1).This estimate can be further refined using small areaestimation and complex interpolation techniques tobreak down the 5-year age group and 5-calendar yearintervals.
Figure 1. Net Enrollment Rate Trend: 1990–2008
  1  9  9  1  1  9  9  0  1  9  9  3  1  9  9  2  1  9  9  5  1  9  9 4  1  9  9  7  1  9  9  6  1  9  9  9  1  9  9  8  2  0  0  1  2  0  0  0  2  0  0  3  2  0  0  2  2  0  0  5  2  0  0 4  2  0  0  7  2  0  0  6  2  0  0  8
It was also in 2001 when DepEd shifted the reference age groupfrom 7–12 to 6–11 years for computing the NER.Note: Years pertain to the beginning of the school year (SY), i.e., 2001represents SY 2001–2002.Sources: DepEd; NSCB; Maligalig and Albert 2008.
Figure 2. Box Plots of Provincial Net EnrollmentRates: 2002–2007
Source: DepEd.
Sorsogon City
Sorsogon CityMarawi City
Lanao del SurMarawi CityLanao del SurSorsogon City
   5   0   1   0   0   1   5   0   2   0   0   2   5   0   N  e   t  e  n  r  o   l   l  m  e  n   t  r  a   t  e   (   %   )
200220032004200520062007Lanao del SurMarawi CityMarawi CityOzamis CityLanao del SurSorsogon CityMarawi CityLanao del SurSorsogon CityMarawi CityLanao del Sur
When AAGR is updated from a morerecent census, data series that employspopulation projections are revised andbacktracked
Is the Net Enrollment Rate Estimate of the Philippines Accurate?
What Is the More Appropriate Primary School AgeGroup?
Based on the APIS, a substantial number of 6-year-oldsare not yet in primary school despite the implementationof DepEd’s guidelines on the official age of entry toprimary school at 6 years old since 1995. About 830,0006-year old children are not in primary school in 2007,37.5% of them have not started school yet, while 62.5%are still in preschool. This is equivalent to about 6.4%of the total population in the 6–11 years age group(Table 2). This implies that although the official schoolage starts at 6 years, there is still a significant percentageof families sending their children to primary school at alater year, thus contributing to the “artificial” decline of the NER.Parents postpone sending their 6-year old children toschool for a various reasons as shown in Table 3. Forexample, in 2007, about 11.8% of age 6 children were notin school because of the child’s personal lack of interestin studying. Some cited financial and practical reasons,such as the high cost of education (7.1%) and distanceof schools (5.3%), respectively. Note that of those not
Table 1. Total Population and Enrollment of Children Aged 6–11: 2002–2007
School YearPopulation
Total Enrollment
Net Enrollment Rate
NER Using RoughAge SpecificEstimateAPISDepEdAPISDepEdAPISDepEd
200211,76312,00010,36910,83488.290.391.42003 12,280 10,898 88.791.0200412,59112,56811,10710,94788.287.190.42005 12,862 10,860 84.488.82006 13,163 10,954 83.288.6200713,03613,14411,59411,15288.984.889.3
APIS = Annual Poverty Indicator Survey, DepEd = Department of Education, NER = net enrollment rate.Sources: DepEd; APIS 2002, 2004, 2007; Census of Population 2000 and 2007.
Table 2. School Attendance of ChildrenAged 6 and 7: APIS 2002, 2004, 2007
 YearSchool AttendanceIndicatorsNumber
6 YearsOld7 YearsOld
2002Total population1,8811,951Not in school404119In preschool51158In primary9671,7742004Total population2,0872,221Not in school365133In preschool54277In primary1,1802,0112007Total population2,0522,206Not in school312128In preschool52068In primary1,2212,010
Source: APIS 2002, 2004, 2007.
Table 3. Reasons of 6-Year Old Childrenfor Not Attending School
Cannot cope withschool work13.3512.982.79High cost of education11.2010.957.10Illness/disability2.433.032.02Lack of personal interest24.8922.9211.76Schools are far/no schoolwithin barangay8.896.835.31Other reasons (combined)39.2443.2971.01Memo items:Total number of6-year old childrennot currently in school403,568365,373311,946% not in school21.417.515.2
Source: APIS 2002, 2004, 2007.

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