Bangkarunungan: Alternative learning at sea

July 24, 2017

PASIG CITY, July 24, 2017 – The Alternative Learning System (ALS) has conquered the seas as Malalag District in Davao del Sur defied boundaries and set up a floating community learning center (CLC) for out-of-school youth (OSY) and adults working in fish cages at the Malalag Bay.
“Just like Noah’s Ark that saved lives, ang floating learning center na ito is also about salvation – ALS is about saving lives,” Atty. Alberto Escobarte, DepEd Region 11 Director, noted during the launching and MOA signing of the project on July 18.
Initially implemented on July 5, the Bangkarunungan Program is Malalag District’s way of extending the delivery of ALS to 34 identified learners employed under the J. Lanzar Trading, who comprise the first batch of workers who are either illiterate or have not completed basic education.
“They actively participated in my class. Although they have different skills and educational backgrounds, they are all eager to learn,” Dr. Eric Tubat, Public Schools District Supervisor, remarked.
Inspired by the consistently high percentage of passers in the annual Accreditation and Evaluation (A&E) Test, Malalag District’s ALS instructional managers (IMs), including Tubat, District ALS Coordinator Peter Marlo Almazan and Mobile Teacher El John Baldapan, conceptualized the project with fish cages proprietor Joseph Anthony Lanzar.
According to Lanzar, he noticed that a huge fraction of workers in his fish cages are unable to read and felt that they deserve to receive education that will help them improve. As president of the PTA Federation of Malalag, he reached out to local education officials and crafted a project proposal.
A bangka or boat provided by the local government unit (LGU) will be used to transport IMs to the learners’ workplace, which will serve as the CLC. Classes will be conducted every Wednesday and Thursday after milkfish feeding time.
The boat will also be used as a floating library loaded with books, modules, and instructional devices, enabling the IMs to conduct reading sessions in the coastal area of Sitio Bulo every Monday and Tuesday.
All Division ALS implementers, headed by ALS Davao del Sur Supervisor Dr. Helen Arancon, Malalag LGU, through Mayor Peter Paul Valentin, the Philippine Coast Guard, and port authority have expressed their continuous support to the project and all ALS programs.
"We thank all the mobile teachers of Davao Region, RD Escobarte for really believing in ALS because they go out of their way to find learners. Ang launching ng floating ALS learning center ay tagumpay ng collaboration ng community, local government, private sector at DepEd, and we will tell everyone about this," ALS Assistant Secretary G.H. Ambat pointed out.