DepEd Sarangani mobilizes volunteers to assist learners

Published October 15, 2020, 2:17 PM

by Keith Bacongco

DAVAO CITY – As quarantine restrictions prevent teachers from going to the hinterlands, the Department of Education (DepEd) Sarangani Division is mobilizing volunteers to assist learners particularly in the indigenous communities. 

A volunteer assists young learners in Kiamba, Sarangani Province. ( Photo courtesy of SJ Selabac/ DepEd Sarangani/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Almost 40 percent of the learners in the province belong to the indigenous peoples (IP)and are in need of assistance since many of the parents are struggling readers, according to DepEd official in the province.  

Through its Read at Home Program, volunteers will assist the learners particularly from kindergarten to third grade level, said program coordinator John Jerson Constantino. 

The program is also calling for volunteers 18 years old and above to assist the learners from kindergarten to third grade level.

“The program is a just continuation of the division’s reading program at schools except that it is now being implemented at the homes of the learners,” Constantino said.

During the time when the schools were still having the face-face classes,the higher grade levels were holding reading tutorials to the kindergarten to third grade levels. “This is the same concept except that we are now doing this at homes.”

Constantino clarified that the volunteers must be from within the community, citing quarantine restriction policies. 

Aside from the Sangguniang Kabataan volunteers, he said that groups such as the Rotaract Club of General Santos City, Sarangani Big Brother, Conrado Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc. (CLAFI), and Tuklas Katutubo have also signified their intention to send volunteers.   

The Sarangani Division has 320 schools serving the towns of Alabel, Glan, Kiamba, Maasim, Maitum, Malapatan, and Malungon. Over half of these schools are serving IP communities. 

Over half of these schools are serving IP communities. 

In Malungon town, the local government has mobilized at least 600 of its scholars to assist the young learners. 

Every scholar is allowed to assist up to three learners only and must be within 50 meter-radius from the tutor’s residence, according to the local government’s guideline. 

Dr. Donna Panes, Curriculum Implementation Division chief, pointed out that quarantine restrictions have prevented the teachers from visiting the schools in the remote areas. 

Panes added that they have also tapped some high school students to assist the young learners in their respective communities. 

“In some areas where there are no high school campuses, we have also requested the barangay officials and Sangguniang Kabataan officials and the alternative learning system (ALS) students to assist the young learners in their communities,” the division official told the Manila Bulletin over the phone. 

The division has recorded at least 52,000 enrollees belonging to the tribe from kindergarten to senior high school, Panes bared. “And about 70 to 80 percent of their parents could not read or write.”

For this school year, the division has recorded 134, 120 enrollees from kindergarten to senior high school for public schools, and 4,759 enrollees in private schools.