Mending bridges (Day 45)by Rey Laguda
(This is the 45th day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)
“We have failed you and we are the reason why you are in here. The government has not been able to give you the support you need.” -- Br. Armin Luistro FSC during the graduation ceremonies in New Bilibid Prison last 12 March 2015.
Education for all is more than just a slogan for DepEd. It means challenging the Agency to provide learner-centered education to those who need it. One of these efforts has been providing education to those in detention centers and penitentiaries.
Last March, a Memorandum of Agreement with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) was inked to institutionalize the establishment of Alternative Learning Centers in all seven penal colonies across the country. Possible program offerings range from basic literacy subjects to Agriculture and Tech Voc subjects for students who are more advanced. It gives formal recognition to the efforts of BuCor and other private organizations who have been working our ALS facilitators all these years.
DepEd’s efforts to give access to all learners extends to everyone, whatever age, whatever disposition, whatever status in life. We pray that hope be not merely available for those who are hopeful, but more so for those who are in despair -- for those who think that they are at the end of the line. Life in detention centers should both be reformative and transformative for the inmates, opening opportunities for change and improvement in their lives. We believe that education will give them the avenue to dream once more for a better life.