DepEd expands education access for Filipino children in Sabah

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In its mission to increase access to education for Filipino learners, the Department of Education (DepEd) has forged an understanding with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and identified alternative learning centers (ALCs) for the Community-based Education Program in Sabah.

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“DepEd remains committed in ensuring that the most disadvantaged, vulnerable, and marginalized are given preferential attention, including our brothers and sisters in Sabah,” DepEd Undersecretary for Partnerships and External Linkages Mario A. Deriquito said.

The signed MOU aims to improve — through capacity-building activities, professional, technical and administrative advice, and the provision of learning and instructional materials, among others — the capacity of the ALCs to provide basic literacy to Filipino children in Sabah who have no access to regular education.

“Filipino children in Sabah are in a precarious situation and our initiatives are mere first steps in a long journey, but we are hopeful that with the dedication of all stakeholders, we will be able to transform through education the lives of these children for the better,” Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya said.

Anchored on the thrust of Education for All, the community-based education program will address the illiteracy among school-aged Filipino learners in Sabah, especially those who cannot afford to pay school fees in private schools.

It will be carried out in cooperation with Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), parents of the learners, and Filipino community volunteers in Sabah.

To date, more than 2,200 school-aged Filipino children are enrolled in the ALCs, namely Learning Translation and Review Center (Keningau), Persatuan Kebajikan Pendidikan Kanak-Kanak Miskin (The Society for Education of Underprivileged Children) (Lahad Datu and Semporna), Sekolah Sukarela Persatuan MAFIL-KOFA (Keningau), Stairway to Hope Learning Center (Kota Kinabalu), Stairway to Success Learning Center (Sandakan), and Vision of Hope Learning Center (Keningau). PNA

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