Taal-hit Aeta community learners resume classes through hand-delivered modules
This composite photo shows the learners from the Aeta community in San Luis, Batangas.
Photo from Ana Banaag
Taal-hit Aeta community learners resume classes through hand-delivered modules
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - October 5, 2020 - 10:46pm

MANILA, Philippines — At least more than half of learners from the Taal-hit Aeta community enrolled for the Alternative Learning System classes this school year and are now learning offline through hand-delivered modules.

During the opening of classes on Monday, Ana Banaag, ALS teacher in San Luis, Batangas who teaches the Aeta community there, said that an estimated 30 students from the community are now continuing their lessons after she delivered their modules.

Banaag said she has delivered a total of 48 modules to seven barangays of Taal-hit San Luis namely Muzon, Calumpang east, Manggahan, Banoyo, Bagong Tubig, Aeta Community and Balite.

Of which, six Aeta students are learning basic literacy program, 11 are elementary students, 11 and 31 are secondary level.

She is expected to deliver modules to six other barangays of San Luis.

In August, Banaag share that there are an estimated 59 students from the Aeta community, based on the 2019 community profiling record. Majority of them are aged six to ten years old.

Banaag told Philstar.com that during the quarantine period she turned to baking and she used her earnings there to personally fund some of the materials that will be used by the community.

The Batanguena teacher has been coordinating donations and relief efforts for the community from agencies and private sector since the Taal eruption in January until the present, when the displaced community is now facing COVID-19.

“Nakakatuwa din naman, parang this opening ay sila ang ipinaghanda ko ng gamit, pero ‘yung mga bond papers naman para sa modules ay donate ng mga kaibigan at ilang konsehal ng bayan,” she told Philstar.com in an online interview.

(It’s heartwarming, like this opening [of classes] I prepared the materials for them, but the bond papers for the modules were donated by friends and councilors of the municipality)

Banaag said that she printed individual modules for this year’s learners, which they would return on a weekly basis.

She shared that she just left them instructions and also gave out her number in case they have some clarifications regarding the module.

Some of the ALS learners from the Aeta community took to Facebook to thank Banaag for her hard work on Worlds Teachers’ Day.

Despite the low outcome of enrollees during the opening of class, Banaag said there are other students who have expressed intent to still enroll.

She explained that unlike formal school, ALS can accept students anytime.

“It’s possible that there will be additional students every day,” Banaag said.

A total of 24 million enrolled in the basic education this year and 22.5 million of these are enrolled in public schools. The Department of Education said they are expecting more students to enroll until November this year.

The current figures are only 89% of last year’s enrollees, which means some three million opt to skip enrolling this school year.

AETA COMMUNITY ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SYSTEM BATANGAS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION NEW NORMAL NOVEL CORONAVIRUS TAAL VOLCANO TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTION TAAL VOLCANO ERUPTION 2020
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