By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
While there have been sustained increases in participation rates in the formal school, the Department of Education (DepEd) assured that it will continue to provide basic education opportunities to learners who dropped out from school.
DepEd recently led a graduation rite wherein 429 Alternative Learning System (ALS) completers and passers of Accreditation & Equivalency exam for 2016 and 2017 in the Division of Ilocos. On behalf Education Secretary Leonor Briones, DepEd Undersecretary and spokesperson Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan attended the ceremony along with DepEd Division officials, some local government officials, and ALS teachers.
“DepEd has noted sustained increases in participation rates in the formal school,” Malaluan said in a statement. “However, ALS will continue to provide basic education opportunities to learners who, because of various reasons, dropped out from school,” he added.
Of the 429 graduates, 138 were males and 293 were females. Meanwhile, a total of 17 graduated at elementary equivalent level, while the 412 passed the equivalent Junior High School (JHS) level. Meanwhile, Malaluan noted that “six of the graduates were senior citizens.”
Housewife and mother of four Glaiza Prudenciano delivered the graduation address as top graduate. During her speech, she shared her life story from Leyte—previously taking a job as kasambahay (househelp) until she migrated to Ilocos Norte upon marriage.
Prudenciano shared that when a DepEd ALS mobile teachers went to her community to encourage residents who have not completed basic education to enroll in ALS, she “grabbed the opportunity.”
The ALS is DepEd’s program providing nonformal teaching modality to out of school youth and adults who failed to finish basic education. The proficiency levels of the learners are assessed and modules to attain learning competencies approximating the formal curriculum are given.
After program completion, learners take an Accreditation & Equivalency exam which they need to pass to be awarded elementary or secondary level certification.