The establishment of teen center in Esperanza National High School (ENHS) is a big factor in the continuous decline of truancy of their students since 2017.
Truancy or unexcused absences, which are often steppingstones to dropping-out was one among the school’s dilemma. To address the risk factors that lead to truancy and other emerging issues of the adolescents, the City Population Office through its Adolescent Health and Development Program spearheaded the establishment of a teen center to offer care and services in an adolescent-friendly environment.
“The impact of the program is very positive towards our students. They became better leaders and they hold to control conflict with their peers. With the program, a considerable decrease in absences were noticed through the assistance of our little counselors”, Guidance Counselor Ma. Concepcion Y. Sabado II said in an interview.
Teen centers were established to help cater concerns of troubled teens through trained peer educators and counselors. The center is considered as safe place for adolescents where they can congregate and receive information or services. The center geared to promote physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being of the youth to enable them to achieve their full potential and positively contribute to national development.
“In the center, we conduct seminar-workshops, activities like film viewing every Friday, mental health orientation, sports and recreational activities being facilitated by our peer educators”, Counselor Sabado said. Further, she shared their future strategies to conduct in debt mentoring and tutorial to low performing students. Also, they plan to conduct home visitations to students with chronic absenteeism.
On the other hand, the City Population Office conducted a Peer Educator’s Training to students from different levels on September 5-6, 2019 at ENHS Campus.
“Our first center was established here at Esperanza National High School and we are about to establish a center in KNCHS. The school provided the classroom that was converted into teen center while the city government helped in providing funding to sustain the operation with the Koronadal Rotary Club as our strong partner,” Population Officer II Janet Demonteverde said in an interview.
Topics on Discovering the Journey of Adolescents, Teen Pregnancy, Drugs and Alcohol, Internet Addiction and Mental Health Awareness, STD/HIV/AIDS, Sexuality and Living Effectively with Parents were accorded to the participants. Trained peer educators will be given the opportunity to spearhead the program from planning to execution in their teen center.
With the series of trainings, the City Population Office through the leadership of Ms.Nancy Adalin, MAN hopes to strengthen its peer education program to combat the emerging issues of the adolescents and the root causes of teenage pregnancy, addiction and peer pressure.