HARD times have forced more than half a million high school students and 336,000 post-secondary students to quit school this year, according to Pulse Asia's July 2005 nationwide survey.
In addition, 168,000 elementary students did not enroll this year, the poll showed.
Lack of money for school expenses (40 percent) and tuition (35 percent) were the chief reasons given for leaving school. Twenty-nine percent cited the student's refusal to study as reason as well.
PCIJ earlier reported that the dropout problem in high school was especially alarming among boys.
Pulse Asia, which polled 1,200 adults, also found that the controversy surrounding educational plans has resulted in the public's mistrust of pre-need firms.
About 70 percent of families that still don't own a plan say they won't buy one even if they had the money. Of this group, 41 percent say pre-need companies can't be depended on to honor the provisions.
Big pre-need companies like the College Assurance Plan and Pacific Plans have failed to pay many planholders, especially those owning traditional plans, their full benefits.
Pulse Asia said only a tenth of households have at least one family member who has or had an education plan.
Read Pulse Asia's full report.