Abuyog, Leyte—The Leyte Regional Prison here will open its first senior high school program for selected inmates starting June 4.
Through the initiative of the Department of Education Leyte Division and the support of Leyte 3rd Congressional District Rep. Vicente Veloso and other stakeholders, the senior high school program will initially cater to 63 inmates who also passed the Accreditation and Equivalency Program of the Alternative Learning System inside the penal colony.
Abuyog Penal Superintendent Geraldo Aro thanked the education officials and other donors of the program, saying the initiative was a “big boost” to their transformation program.
“My heartfelt thanks for your unending help. I know this is only the start of your many programs to help our prisoners. This will greatly help them during their eventual release and integration to the free society,” Aro told Leyte education officials.
Aro also called on the inmates-turned-students to maintain their discipline and order during their classes for the success of the program and for their “good future.”
“If your family knows that you are doing okay inside, it will put them at ease. They won’t worry a lot because they know that you’re in good hands here,” said Aro.
He assured inmates they would earn additional 15 days good conduct time allowance every month if they would maintain good behavior during their studies.
Established in 1973, the Leyte Regional Prison housed more than 1, 800 convicted offenders.
“We hope that you’re not going to waste this opportunity,” urged Tenasas, the brain behind the initiative, as he disclosed that Rep. Veloso has allocated P26.7 million for the construction of six classrooms two-story building plus a gymnasium, library and computer laboratory inside the penal colony.
According to Tenasas, the classes inside the regional prison facility would become a “special class” of the neighboring Hampipila National High School in Abuyog.
He also thanked the support of Leyte Schools Division Superintendent Ronelo Al Firmo for the realization of the program while hinting that Higher Education Institution may come in and offer a program for a college degree to the prisoners in the future.
Orlando Cabantoc, school head of Hampipila National High School Principal, said that the inmates will attend their classes from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, and finish the program by one semester.
The inmates will also hold their own “Brigada Eskwela” to prepare their temporary learning space inside the prison camp for their classes in June, he added.