Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa and Magallanes, Sorsogon Municipal Mayor Augusto Ragragio signed the grant contract for “The Project for the Construction of Community Learning Center in the Municipality of Magallanes, Sorsogon” on March 17. The total grant amount is $98,776 (or approximately P4.1 million) and is funded under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
Municipality of Magallanes currently faces challenges related to the high incidence of drop-outs and out-of-school children, the main reasons of which are greatly attributed to the high cost of education and poverty. To resolve this issue, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Magallanes tries to implement an educational program called Alternative Learning System (ALS).
ALS is a free and short-term, non-formal education and learning system implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines. The program is intended for out-of-school children, youth and adult who do not have the chance to attend and finish formal basic education in school.
To facilitate the learning of the students, teachers conduct a series of lectures. After which, actual trainings are done to help improve the skills of the students. Compared with formal education, students can get certificate/diploma in a shorter period of time. The diploma certifies that the ALS students have competencies comparable to the graduates of the formal school system.
Currently, ALS in the Municipality of Magallanes holds classes in an old and dilapidated building. The current bad condition of the building and the lack of learning materials and training equipment compromises the learning process and posts threat to the security of the students.
Through GGP, the municipality will be funded for the construction of a new two-storey community learning center and the procurement of training equipment with the aim of intensifying and improving the ALS there. The improved implementation of ALS in Magallanes, LGU will benefit 2,895 residents who are willing to avail the free educational program and are eventually expected to improve their economic and living condition.