Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pangasinan Hosts ALS Nat’l Confab

LINGAYEN---Some 500 Alternative Learning System (ALS) chiefs, assistant chiefs and implementers all over the country gathered at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center here as Pangasinan hosted their three day annual national consultative conference from July 9 to 11. Carolina S. Guerrerro, Director for the Bureau of Alternative Learning System Division of the Department of Education said the conference which brings altogether the regional and national chiefs from the 17 regions in the country including ARMM will tackle the ALS programs and projects, latest issue about the K to 12 and the rationalization plan and modernization and upgrading of the literacy program for all of the Department of Education. Through this consultative conference, Guerrerro said the activity will enable the ALS implementers share accomplishments, discuss issues and problems and try to resolve and take action on the problems that need to be addressed. Guerrerro likewise noted that part of the conference is a visit to selected community learning centers in Mabini, Alaminos and Manaoag “so that we can pick up best practices.” As this developed, Vice-Gov. Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, Jr. hailed the DepEd especially the ALS Division for a very noble endeavor of helping the underserved communities learn as he welcomed the visitors from all over the country. “You have begun your journey, let us continue to share what you know,”Calimlim said. Calimlim who spoke on behalf of Gov. Espino said that “the governor believed that education is the greatest equalizer, education has no substitute and it enables people to become rational and functional individuals living in a meaningful and productive life.” Meanwhile, Regional Assistant Chief ALS Division Edwin Ferrer who said that the region is one of the best ALS implementer all over the country, revealed that Pangasinan was likewise chosen as venue considering the support of Gov. Espino and all the LGU executives to the program not to mention the hospitality and warm accommodation of the province to visiting guests. Ferrer said ALS is a program of DepEd which caters to out-of-school-youths, children, adults, persons with disabilities and senior citizens comparable to the formal system of education in the elementary and secondary level. Ferrer said it is called distance learning as classes can be held anywhere without going to formal school and learning sessions are held even in jails for inmates and in all deprived, depressed and underserved communities. The ALS mobile teachers and district coordinators do a door-to-door delivery where they personally go to the learners especially those who do not have schools in the area and those who do not have the financial capability, Ferrer said. As Guerrerro expounds, ALS provides learning to those who are not in school, illiterate, those who have left school and have not completed their basic education. Guerrerro said through the program, basic education can now be acquired outside of school in community learning centers like the jailhouse, marketplace, and anywhere where learning sessions can be held. (PIO/Angeline D. Villanueva)

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