The following is an e-postcard from Zamil Akhtar, a GlobalGiving Representative in the Philippines:
Education is something many of us take for granted, and upon visiting De La Salle University’s out-of-school kids program, I realized just how precious it is. Today, the kids had to practice essay writing for an upcoming national exam. “It’s hard for them to express themselves in writing,” the teacher told me, “they can talk and talk and talk, but writing their thoughts doesn’t come naturally.” In fact, gaining an education doesn’t come naturally -- most of these kids had never even been in school, forced to work at a young age to support their families. When they complete the out of school program, they will have the equivalent of a high school diploma and the opportunity to enter college. This is their path to climbing out of poverty and living a better life.
the als project has expanded operations from the lsfe center located in 2139 fidel reyes st. manila to the brgy hall of brgy 704 manila. it has also taken in 70 out of school youth at the center and 26 students at brgy 704.
the project has finalized the implementation of its 42 week cosca als learning module. the idea is one learning strand a week will be utilized by both the center and brgy als facilitator. upon completion, they will move on to the next strand by the next week. regular dlsu students may also come in during the weekends and offer tutorial classes to the als learners based on the same learning strand.
the project was also able to provide an orientation for parents and a recollection. this is to encourage their support during the education of their children. in fact, the team was also able to establish an association of als parents.
the project has also 2 volunteer teachers aside from the 3 project staff. it is also complemented by 12 christian brothers who provide lasallian spirituality sessions.
its finally out. the results of the equivalency test for als academic year 2012 - 2013 came out this march 2013. from the 63 dlsu als enrollees, only 33 students were deemed eligible to take the said examinations and from this number 15 als learners passed with flying colors. this means that the 14 students are now certified to have fulfilled all requirements of the secondary education and can be extended the opportunity to take either vocational courses or college. the remaining student can now take secondary education in any public school or still opt to take als secondary level.
using the learnings from the als batch 1 activities, the dlsu als project will be enhancing its procedures and processes to increase the probability of als learners passing the equivalency test. this include the hiring of a fulltime als specialist/facilitator who will be in-charge of providing sessions to the students, extending the number of school days to accomodate more sessions designed to inculcate the rudiments of learning and improvement of facilities to stimulate learning.
based on the drop in enrollees from january to march of this year, 77 students have signified to join als batch 2 at the center this april 2013. cosca in partnership with the brgy 704 manila council will also take on 26 als students from their area. we are also planning to take on street families/dwellers (adults and children) to be part of the project.
we need your help.
the alternative learning system project being implemented by the center for social concern and action and the department of education through the pablo gomez public school conducted various activites for its students last dec 2012. these included the following: christmas lantern making; christmas carolling within the campus of the university; holding of a christmas party; and the distribution of xmas items to the street families along the main thoroughfares of manila.
a total of 40 students also under took the equivalency test during this period. the months of nov and dec were utilized as review sessions. in addition, the lasallian brothers/aspirants provided recollections to the test takers in the hope that they become not only mentally prepared but also spiritually ready for the examinations.
plans for jan 2013 include the following: continued self enhancement/development workshop; skills development training; and basic computer skills.
Students from the alternative learning system conducted by the center for social concern and action in partnership with the department of education provided relief items to street families in district 5, manila. cosca allocated several family relief packs to be distributed to selected street families along paraiso ng maynila and roxas boulevard. The street families were also affected by the recent floodings brought about by the southwest monsoons (habagat). The relief items that were distributed included the following: rice, canned goods, clothing, beddings and potable water. This effort is part of a social formation package for the als students designed by the project community organizer. Aside from the educational module prescribed by the department of education, cosca has integrated several activities designed to encourage them to help other people in need. A feature that further distinguished a lasallian from the rest of the students. this activity was preceeded by an environmental activity also attended by the als students which was held last aug 2012 at nuvali, santa rosa, laguna. Als is short for the alternative learning system, an educational program by the department of education designed to provide academic input to basic education students who are out of school. conceptualized to be more liberal than the regular public school curriculum, the als encourages self study. An equivalency test is held every oct. upon passing, the students are eligible to enrol in the next grade/year level. Cosca has been an als center since 2010.
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Director, Center for Social Concern and Action