by Vicente V. Eliver
“Investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
The KKFI family is elated!
Yesterday, June 29, 2016, we received the best news in months. Twenty-three (not 20 as earlier reported) —yes, “2” and “3”—students sponsored by the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) passed the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) test of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education (DepEd).
READY… GET SET… DREAM! Members of Batch 2015 of Alternative Learning System (ALS) classes in Navotas City and Manila (districts of Sampaloc and Tondo and the Manila North Cemetery) pose for posterity just before their Accreditation and Equivalency Test last April 17.
It was a remarkable feat! The number of passers this year has been the highest since KKFI started to conduct ALS classes in 2011. (We will try to feature most, if not all, of the passers in future blogs).
You see, the KKFI has this firm belief in the importance of education as a way out of poverty. Hence, it has been using most of its funds in providing education to impoverished children and youth of Navotas City and Manila (particularly Sampaloc and Tondo districts and the Manila North Cemetery) through ALS.
The Department of Education has come up with ALS in response to the need for more education opportunities to poor but deserving students. It is a non-formal, but parallel to formal, system of education in the Philippines.
Even the UNICEF took notice of ALS and recognized it as the best non-formal educational format in Asia that even countries like Thailand and Myanmar are copying it. Indeed, it is considered as the most successful intervention among members of the younger generation who are unable to attend school due of various reasons.
“I’m overwhelmed and thankful to KKFI for inviting me to attend ALS,” said Melanie Balateco, who is now in her third year in college. She was a high school dropout.
GRADUATION PICTURE. This picture shows last year’s batch with KKFI Executive Director Nancy C. Nicolas (in green blouse in the middle of front row). Also, seated in front are: (From left) KKFI ALS Coordinator Vincent Eliver, Ms. Xenia Señorin of the Department of Education-Manila, former KKFI Community Development worker Arvin Reyes, Instructional Manager the Rev. Dan Francisco, Ms. Gillan Atienza of DepEd-Manila, Ms. Nicolas, Ms. Tita Villarosa, Samantaganor president, KKFI Program Director Rexan Dayao, General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) mission fellow Nora Cunningham, Instructional Manager Joanna Marie Merced, KKFI Pulilan, Bulacan coordinator Christian Love Daroy-Gagno, St. Peter UMC coordinator Ana Martin, and ATD coordinator Eden Mañalac. The event was KKFI-ALS Batch 2015 graduation ceremonies.
Hanna Flores, our education officer, said, the OSYs see ALS as their final recourse if they hope to continue their studies. ALS, they said, allows them to study and work at the same time because it is time-flexible. Indeed, ALS was designed that way. It was meant to respond to the learners’ capacity to cope with the required number of hours in class.
We found out that most of our learners are the bread winners of their respective families. Some are independently supporting their own education. There are also mothers who attend classes with their child in tow and workers who had to go to their classes straight from their night shift assignment in order to catch up with the lessons.
All KKFI ALS learners invariably have been experiencing financial difficulties and other adversities, but they did not stop dreaming.
ALS is a long term form of intervention provided by KKFI but it has a lifelong effect in the lives of the OSY as program stakeholders. Finishing elementary or secondary levels is a gigantic leap closer to their dreams.
Yesterday, 20 of our learners did exactly that. We are positive hundreds, even thousands, more are going to do the same. It just takes faith.