The alternative learning system
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2018 - 12:00am

A few years ago I had the opportunity to partner with the Alternative Learning System or ALS at the Department of Education where for the very first time I had the chance to observe classes at a small correctional facility in Tagaytay City.

As an advocate for Education, I felt that it was time for me to understand how this side of our educational system worked. Our ALS teachers go through tough strides in bringing education especially to communities that barely have any access.

Stories about teachers spending hours crossing two rivers and braving the wild just to get to small villages to teach are heroic daily acts made by teachers involved in this program.

It is a mission which is the same for those who dedicate their time for learners in correctional facilities – inmates who for the very time in their lives (for most of them at the very least), are experiencing what it is like to attain proper education.

Having had the chance to interact with the inmates in this facility, I learned how an education became a real eye opener for them.

Not only had they come to realize the effects of their past mistakes, they gradually improved on themselves through education. While not many people know that some teachers go to the extent of even hitching a ride with garbage truck drivers to get to this facility, on the other hand, learners within this facility have such overwhelming humility as they undergo the rehabilitation process.

The war against illegal drugs is in full force and to date, I am meeting more and more officers of the law who actively participate in the rehabilitation of inmates within the facilities they handle because they too consider them as part of nation building.

While the focus of some still tends to pour attention on the darker side of the drug problems our nation faces today, there is a blossoming side of hope that is preparing rehabilitated inmates to become contributing members of society.

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