“Gusto ko talagang makapagtapos dahil ito ang aking pangarap (I really want to finish my education because this is my dream),” said Cassey, not her real name.

She sees herself to becoming a business owner someday after owning a degree in business administration.

Though having the urge to pursue her education, Cassey was disheartened because of the rude words and unbearable treatment by her classmates due to her misaligned lower extremities. This made her decide not to attend school anymore and just stay in their house to help her mother in the household chores.

Cassey is one of the 29,300 Pantawid Pamilya children who are not attending school in Region 1. Bullying, as experienced by Cassey in her school, is one of the major reasons that surfaced in the Beneficiary Tracking Report.

Based on the Program’s guidelines, consecutive non-compliance of even one of the three monitored children in any of the conditions will lead to the delisting of the whole household. This is why Bata Balik Eskwela is being enforced to help Cassey and other Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries identified as not attending school to comply with the Program conditions particularly on education.

Cassey committed to enroll for the next school year. Her mother supports her plan to transfer to another school in the nearby municipality. Also, to ensure that Cassey will never be bullied because of her disability, they will seek medical attention and treatment.

Cassey is determined to pursue her education because she acknowledges the fact that soon she will be the breadwinner of her family, especially now that their eldest is married and their youngest is working and no longer interested to go back to school.

“Nasaktan man ako noon, mas lalaban na ako ngayon (Although I was hurt before, now, I will strive more),” Cassey uttered. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya)