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PIA Press Release

DepEd 7 official appeals for more funds and teachers for alternative education

by Roberto M. Cabardo

Cebu City (27 July) -- In time for the State of the Nation Address of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today, an education official in Central Visayas appeals for more funding and more mobile teachers with plantilla positions for the sustained program of the Bureau of Alternative Learning Systems in the region.

Regional ALS Chief, Dr. Michael M. Cono, said in an interview this morning that he appreciated the move of the government to address the out-of-school youth who also have to be provided basic education so they will be more productive members of the Filipino society but he would appreciate it more if the present 72 mobile teachers in the region be increased to cater to close to 79 thousand out-of school youth who have availed of the ALS program here.

As of 2008, Central Visayas has 78, 617 registrants out of whom 42, 889 completers of the various programs under the Alternative Learning Systems that include Basic Literacy Program (BLP), Functional Literacy Program (FLP), and Livelihood Education Program (LEP) in the region.

Cono also disclosed that among the schools in this part of Visayas, Zapatera Elementary School and Tejero Elementary School in Cebu City and Dumaguete City Central School in Negros Oriental are among the top performers based on the greater number of completers who passed the accreditation and equivalency test that determines whether a completer is qualified to be considered an elementary graduate or third year high school student.

One of the reasons found by the official that could have led to better performance of the completers in the accreditation and equivalency test is the conduct of the 1-2 month review program in each district in the region.

"I really recommend that for them (completers) to have a better chance of passing the A & E Test, they must take review classes rather than be walk-in takers. It's free," he said.

When asked what causes the increase in the dropout rate that contributes the majority of the registrants, Cono bared that most attributable reason is economic deprivation which is closely related to low level of education.

He added that the problem is encompassing in the sense that problems like truancy and malnutrition come with economic deprivation which also leads to low earning capacity and productivity among the out-of-school youth.

The same official also calls on the non-government organizations to help public schools cater more to the informal student sector by providing whatever it is that the ALS program and the public schools in their immediate community lack that hinder a better chance of a sustained ALS program in the country.

"They must try to get involved in the Adopt-a-School Program of DepEd. With this I commend Mandaue City Schools for they are adopted by Jollibee," said Cono.

ALS which is derived from the former Non-Formal Education (NFE) of DepEd is part of the agendum of Arroyo of providing Education for All, being a universal right of every Filipino regardless of creed, race, color, political affiliation, and socio-economic status. (PIA Cebu) [top]

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