Thursday, May 19, 2016

Reaching out to learners in the peripheries (Day 8)

(This is the DepEd USec Rey Laguda's Day 8 of 50-day journey being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account. - Blogger/owner)

Here is a blog prepared by Angel Santos, one of our core staff in the communications team of DepEd. She is a 2nd generation public servant. She is a millennial who has great aspirations for our people and our country. She talks about how the Department intensified its efforts to reach out to the unserved and underserved areas by taking the extra mile. Caring for our learners require partnering with other stakeholders who share the same vision of building the nation. - Rey Laguda

One of the missions of the Department of Education (DepEd) is to look out for and reach out to Filipino learners who have a hard time accessing formal education. For the past six years, DepEd has put in place several interventions and programs that aim to reach those in the peripheries--because real education is about making sure that everyone is part of the education system and ensuring that education responds to each learner’s needs. But of course, education is not just DepEd’s responsibility alone. Education is everyone’s responsibility.

DepEd, in partnership with other government agencies, local government units, and non-government organizations, and the private sector, has undertaken the huge task of reaching out to the hard-to-reach learners and providing them with more access to education through various programs such as the Kariton Klasrum, the Pedals and Paddles program, and the Abot-Alam Program.

Kariton Klasrum caters to out-of-school children and youth aged 5-14 through a bridge program that aims to reintegrate them in regular schools. DepEd and its partners also work together in mapping out-of-school youth and providing them with education and training that will best suit their needs and skills.

Through the Abot-Alam Program, training in entrepreneurship and employment have been provided to OSYs. Those who have been enrolled in entrepreneurship and employment undergo assessment to gauge their capabilities in setting up and running a business. Partners from NGOs and microfinance institutions also mentor and assist OSYs to look for financial assistance in sustaining their small businesses. Some LGUs also supported the OSYs by providing them with small capital to have a source of sustainable livelihood. TESDA has also offered scholarship vouchers for OSYs so they can acquire the skills necessary for them to pursue their chosen career. Partners from the private sector have also helped in training OSYs for job opportunities.

Aside from this, DepEd has also engaged various partners in providing more mobility for students in far-flung areas. With Pedals and Paddles, students who live on an island or in a hard-to-reach area have more mobility in accessing their schools. Bikes and boats are distributed so that children never have to go through the difficulty of going to their schools.

These might just be programs that seem like a small part of education for other people, but these are the programs that continue to change the lives of hard-to-reach learners. Through concerted efforts, DepEd and its partners continue to change the lives of Filipino learners. These are the lives of out-of-school youth that we continue to enhance by coming together and by ensuring that we respond to their call.



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