The Alternative Learning System (ALS) is back!

Going to school and learning is one of the fundamental children's rights. The Republic Act 9155 and the Executive order n°356 define and institute a framework of governance for basic education in the Philippines. Today, 20 million children are enrolled in primary and secondary education, but two million will give up or fail, even though education is free in the Philippines. 1

Children present in the SDC are out of school and it can have a very negative effect on their future lives, especially for those present in the center for a long term, such as Children in Conflict with the Law who have court cases. Teachers had refused to continue teaching in the center for security, hygiene and organization reasons in 2008. The children’s lack of educative follow-up since then has made their rehabilitation much more difficult.

Following the report from the Virlanie Human Rights Coordinator and in order to satisfy their needs and rights, HOST-NGO coordinated and facilitated the return of the Alternative Learning System to the SDC. On Friday 18th of January 2013, there was a launching ceremony for ALS. Two city counselors, the Assistant Superintendant of the Department of Education and community representatives (including a Barangay Captain) were there.

Starting in February, fifteen Children in Conflict with the Law will benefit from the classes of the two teachers, Jason and Carlito. An initial test will help to identify the education background of the children, in order to adapt the classes. The program will be divided into several modules, taught according to the educational level of the child. The objectives of ALS are to develop critical thinking, build communication skills, expand one’s world vision, etc.

In order to ensure the quality of the program, HOST-NGO committed to providing the educational material necessary (crayons, drawing books, rules, scissors, etc) and the classroom furnitures (chairs, tables, and whiteboard). The school year can start!

1 http://www.unicef.org/philippines/supportunicef_9857.html