This statement is from former out-of-school youth and 2008 ALS-A&E passer, Mr. Jissey Raye L. Rafanan RN, was part of an inspirational message he delivered during the 6th Alternative Learning System (ALS) graduation rites. With the theme “Kabataang Mula sa K to 12, Tagapagdala ng Kaunlaran sa Bansang Pilipinas”, the occasion was held last September 17, 2016 at the Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School Gymnasium. It was hosted by the Department of Education-Bureau of Alternative Learning System (DEPED-BALS).
A total of 503 passers were presented during the ceremonies. These included 25 passers from the Mindanao Youth for Development (MYDEV) Program being implemented by the Education Development Center (EDC) and Zamboanga Basilan Integrated for Development Alliance (ZABIDA) as the partner service provider. The event was graced by the graduates’ parents, BLGUs, the Out of School Youth Development Alliance (OSYDA) Co-Chairperson and DEPED Assistant Regional Director Pedro Melchor M. Natividad, who accepted and confirmed the graduates. He further encouraged them to pursue higher education after passing the A&E Examination.
The ALS-A & E program assists out-of-school youth in entering or reentering the formal educational system. Together with implementing partners, they go through a catch-up training process that helps them obtain skills that are needed to qualify for enrolment at a grade level equivalent to that in the basic education system. They are accredited through a placement test that evaluates their readiness for entry to for that level. Hence, the term “accreditation and evaluation” (A and E).
In collaboration with the DEPED-BALS, ZABIDA trained over a period of 8 months a total of 306 out-of-school youth (OSY) enrollees from 10 identified Partner Barangay Local Government Units in Zamboanga City. Among them, 241 completed the course, with 25 eventually passing the placement evaluation. 8 of the 25 ZABIDA-MYDev passers received Certificates of Proficiency in Essay Writing for garnering a perfect score in the essay part of the examination. DepEd further played a supplementary role in the training component of the program. It provided effective coaching strategies, intensive reviews to the youth and operative teaching sessions to ZABIDA Instructional Managers.