IN preparation for the opening of classes for school year 2017-2018, the Department of Education (DepEd) has set a nationwide special registration for out-of-school youths who will enroll in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) on May 15 at the sidelines of the national kick off of this year’s Brigada Eskwela school cleanup program in Cebu City.
“We will be having a special registration for our out-of-school youths who will enroll in the Alternative Learning System. Since I took office as Secretary of the Department of Education, the President [Rodrigo Duterte] has instructed me to have a special attention on the Alternative Learning System because many of our children are still unable to join the formal learning system,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones told reporters in a press briefing on Thursday.
Briones said the Education department will put up help desks in all public schools nationwide to those who want to continue study through the ALS.
“Many of our young people cannot go to formal schooling because of poverty, long distance, early marriage, and so on. We will give them the opportunity. The integration of the Alternative Learning System in the Brigada Eskwela is very important,” the DepEd chief added.
Briones said that around four million out-of-school children and out-of-school youth are expected to enroll under ALS this year.
“We want them to draw in the Alternative Learning System, and this is where civil society groups play an important role because they have to identify potential students for our Alternative Learning System program,” she noted.
“By the way, we have two types of Alternative Learning System program. One of which is that the children are eventually brought to our regular school system or else they will take equivalency test, and then they will be declared as elementary or high school graduates, and then they will integrated to formal school system. The other part of the training is that they will given skills training, and then will get jobs after graduation,” the DepEd chief explained.
Briones said that at least 500 or 1,000 out-of-school children and out-of-school youth are expected to enroll in the ALS.
The DepEd will also launch its “One Million Lapis Campaign Project” during the national kick off of the Brigada Eskwela.
The department will distribute thousands of pencils to public school pupils, particularly in poor provinces.
Briones and other officials of the Department of Education will lead the Brigada Eskwela national kick-off program and caravan on May 15 in Cebu City.
With the theme “Isang DepEd, Isang Pamayanan, Isang Bayanihan para sa Handa at Ligtas na Paaralan,” Brigada Eskwela consists of activities that exhibit the spirit of shared community responsibility in providing quality basic education for all Filipino learners.
The week-long event includes a launch caravan in regional offices and schools division offices and a kick-off ceremony in a public school offering senior high school (SHS), which will serve as the final stop of the caravan.
All Regional Directors and Schools Division Superintendents will mobilize their Adopt-a-School Program/Brigada Eskwela Coordinators to ensure the successful six-day implementation of Brigada Eskwela in all public elementary and secondary schools, and to ensure the involvement of the community and local stakeholders.
School heads will take the lead in planning the said activities, which include tree planting and vegetable gardening to promote the clean and green campaign of the government. Furthermore, school heads are encouraged to make the Brigada Eskwela program not just a tool to improve school facilities but to step up community contribution in the continuous and shared responsibility of providing quality basic education.
The Brigada Eskwela Plus will be the mechanism to elevate the level of participation, the amount of resources generated, the number of volunteer turnout, and the level of awareness on the valuable role of communities in improving basic education.