MUNTINLUPA CITY, July 23, 2019 – A total of 139 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) who passed the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test attended their recognition and graduation ceremony at the Maximum Security Compound (MaxSeCom) of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
The Department of Education’s (DepEd) ALS is a second-chance education program for out-of-school youth and adults including PDL who cannot read or write and those who would like to continue their studies while serving their sentence.
This is also part of the Reformation Program of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to facilitate the education of PDL.
The 2018 batch achieved a 96.52% passing rate after taking the A&E test—43 PDL passed the elementary level with a passing rate of 91.48%, while 96 passed the Junior High School level with a passing rate of 98.96%. Out of the 145 test takers from NBP’s MaxSeCom in 2018, 144 passed the ALS A&E.
DepEd Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Service and ALS Program and Task Force, G.H. Ambat, delivered the keynote speech and congratulated the graduates for their achievements.
“Masaya po ako na makasama ninyo ngayon dito sa inyong tinatawag na milestone sa buhay… natutuwa pa rin ako tuwing bumabalik ako at nakikita ko ‘yung mga achievements ng mga tao na nandidito ngayon katulad po nitong graduation o inyong pagtatapos,” Ambat shared.
ALS learners and instructional managers confined at the NBP’s MaxSeCom did not only learn from the program, but also have an opportunity to reduce their sentence by participating in ALS.
Chief Inspector Stella May Lat, Chief of the Training and Education Section of the NBP, explained that the PDL under the Reformation Program of BuCor are entitled to additional Good Conduct Time Allowance or GCTA.
“Ito pong mga PDL, once na sila’y maka-graduate, sila po ay binibigyan namin ng mga certificates, diploma at mga transcripts na mga records at documents na wala pong nakikita na sila po ay isang bilanggo. So ito po ay pwede nilang magamit sa labas at makapag-apply po sila ng trabaho at maibalik po ang kanilang dignidad na nawala sa kanila noong sila po ay nakulong,” Lat added. She also explained that this will be carried out in partnership with accredited universities.
In conclusion, Ambat enjoined the learners to take advantage of the opportunity granted to them.
“Nire-recognize po namin na hindi lahat nakakapag-aral, hindi lahat nakapagtatapos, kung kaya po ang gobyerno, sa direksyon po ni President Duterte at ni Secretary Liling Briones, ay pinaiigting ang Alternative Learning System. Kasi naniniwala po kami na lahat po ay may potensyal na magbago at makapag-contribute eventually sa inyong pagpapalago o pagpapa-develop ng inyong sarili, pamilya, pamayanan at bansa,” the Assistant Secretary told the graduates.