A lot of young kids in the Philippines are frequently absent from school because they have to take care of their younger siblings or are forced to work to help their parents. This is especially common in poor communities where there is also a high birth rate despite the parents not having enough money to raise their children.
Recently, one kid went viral for taking care of his brother in school because he does not want to be absent.
The young boy named Justin, Grade 1, earned praises on social media after his teacher, only identified as Ma’am Lei, shared his photo. The post was picked up by Facebook page KCMP News.
“Habo ko po mag-absent mam, digdi ko na lang po alingon ang tugang ko (1yr old) may trabahoon po kaya si lola (guardian) sa bulod dai ki mabantay,” Justin told his teacher.
(I don’t want to be absent, ma’am. I will just carry my 1-year-old brother here because my grandmother has to work in the farm and no one can take care of him.)
Justin’s words touched many netizens. A lot wished the boy and his brother well, saying they are hoping he would succeed in life because he knows his priorities. Others also pointed out that these children’s parents should not add more to their kids so that these boys can grow and go to school properly, without having to quit or bring more of their siblings to school in the future.