Wed, 24 Sep 2003

Over 6m dropouts in recent years

JAKARTA: Over six million school-aged children across the country have dropped out of school recently, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).

"They do not have the necessary education or skills to later compete in the job market and therefore will find themselves in desperate economic trouble," Unicef country representative Steven Allen said here on Tuesday.

He did not explain why the number of children dropping out of school was so high, but stressed that a lack of education and skill could easily lead children and young people into commercial exploitation or trafficking.

Unicef, in cooperation with a local hotel group, organizes the so-called Youth Career Development Program -- a six-month training program aimed at providing dropouts with vocational skills.

The trainees will be trained in housekeeping, food and beverage services, laundry, fruit carving and English. --JP