Issue of July 7, 2019
Mt. Province
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Inmates finish school via ALS
by Pamela Mariz Geminino

Twenty persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the male dorm in Baguio City received their diplomas after graduating from elementary and high school through the modules under the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education, an official said Wednesday.

"This is one of the government's efforts to promote the intellectual well-being of PDLs so that when they return to the mainstream of society what they have learned inside the facility will be put in good use," Baguio City male jail warden, C/Insp. Crispin Dornagon, said.

Of the 20 PDLs, 13 graduated from the secondary level while seven finished the elementary level on Tuesday.

Dornagon said the program is done annually as there are times when a new inmate is qualified to take the ALS program.

For several months, interested ALS students undergo a review with the assistance of an ALS teacher of the DepEd. They go through a learning process that prepares the students for the assessment which will determine their level.

Age is not an issue in ALS, a DepEd program established to provide all Filipinos, even PDLs, the chance to have access to and or to complete their basic education in a mode that fits their distinct situations and needs. It is a parallel learning system in the Philippines that provides a practical option to the existing formal instruction.

The Baguio City male dorm is managed by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

“Everyone has a right to free basic education, even our PDLs that is why we conduct this to help them,” Dornagon said.

He said one of the missions of BJMP is to provide humane treatment to PDLs, by coming up with programs that can improve their personality, skills and even their lives inside the detention facility or when they go back to their community when they are released.

He said when one does not have or cannot access formal education in schools, the ALS is an alternative or substitute.

“ALS is an alternate or substitute which includes both the non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills,” he said.

To date, there are 344 PDLs housed in the BJMP Male Dorm.

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