The city government of Makati gave free school supplies and uniforms to 84 young individuals housed in two city-run caring facilities and enrolled in its Alternative Learning System.
Mayor Abigail Binay said 43 boys in Makati Youth Home and 41 girls in the Social Development Center were the latest beneficiaries the city government’s Project FREE (Free Relevant Excellent Education).
The caring facilities are also part of the city’s rehabilitation program for juvenile delinquents and young victims of abuse.
“We have begun providing free school supplies and uniforms to these young Makatizens as an added incentive for them to do good in the ALS program. It will prepare them in going back to school for formal education after they are released from the city’s custody,” Binay said.
“We believe that children in conflict with the law and children at risk would greatly benefit from a holistic program that promotes their physical and emotional well-being as well as their intellectual development. It will help ensure their successful reintegration into the community,” she underscored.
According to city’s Department of Education, each ALS learner received a set of school supplies consisting of 10 notebooks, 10 ballpens, and 10 pencils. They also received a pair of new black shoes, one set of school uniform, bag, pad paper, and a school diary.
DepEd-Makati chief Rita Riddle said that children in the said caring facilities are being taught through ALS with modified and individualized modules according to the needs of the learner.
“Because of the constant support of the city, these children now have a better chance to pass the ALS Accreditation and Equivalency or A&E test,” Riddle said.
“Mobile teachers used to go to the caring facilities and hold classes twice a week. Now, we are working on having permanent multi-grade teachers who will conduct classes in said facilities every day,” Riddle added.
The ALS A&E test is designed to measure the competencies of those who have neither attended nor finished elementary or secondary education in the formal school system. Its passers are given a certificate or diploma with DepEd seal and signed by the Education Secretary, which qualifies them to enroll in junior high school or senior high school.
To be eligible to take the A&E test, students need to take classes for a minimum of 10 consecutive months. They may be recommended to stay in the program to further improve their competencies, as determined by their teachers.
Records from DepEd-Makati show that the city has an increasing passing rate for A&E test: 54.86 percent in 2015 (564 passers out of 1,028 takers; 61.58 percent in 2016 (529 passers out of 859 takers); and 66.96 percent in 2017 (446 passers out of 666 takers).
The Makati Youth Home, located at Onyx Street, Barangay La Paz, was inaugurated in 2013. It serves as temporary shelter which offers counselling, stress debriefing, spiritual guidance, remedial education, and assistance for the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.
On the other hand, the Social Development Center in Barasoain Street, Barangay Tejeros, was established in 2003. It serves as temporary shelter most especially for girls considered as children in need of special protection (CNSP) such as those who are victims of abuse.