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Kariton Klasrum in San Juan City Rolls Out for the Out-Of-School Children

​The Department of Education has intensified its campaign to provide education for all, especially to the marginalized sector or the so-called the least, the lost, and the last members of the society. It adopted the K4 Program of CNN Hero Efren Penaflorida whom he had initially implemented in Cavite with resounding success. The program stands for Kariton, Klasrum, Kantin at Klinik, popularly known as Kariton Klasrum (KK) which caters to street children aged 5 to 14 years. It runs for six months in a once-a-week learning intervention scheme until the children get prepared for formal school.

USEC Mario A. Deriquito of the Office for Partnership and External Linkages coordinated with Dynamic Teen Company (DTC), a non-government organization founded by Peñaflorida, to conduct a National Training of Trainers for the implementers last July 8 to 10, 2015 at NEAP NCR in Marikina City. This was attended by different stakeholders and DepEd personnel assigned as Kariton Klasrum focal persons of their respective divisions. They learned about its dynamics anchored on the spirit of volunteerism from the different organizations in the community.

On August 3, 2015, USEC Deriquito personally called for a meeting of all focal persons in the NCR to ensure that the K4 Program will be replicated in the metro where there is a high number of street children. He discussed the benefits and the impact it could create in the lives of the disadvantaged which extend beyond the academic values. Different life skills, hygiene, and personal care lessons are also taught to them alongside the monitoring of their weight, especially those who are identified with malnourishment. The sessions come with the feeding of nutritious food which requires the support of parents and other advocates for the necessary funding. These activities allow the children to experience love and care from people that would hopefully inspire hope in them to improve their situation.

With this vision, DepEd San Juan heeded the call under the leadership of the SDS Dr. Jenilyn Rose B. Corpuz in partnership with the local government. On September 5, 2015, the Kariton Klasrum was launched in Brgy. Corazon de Jesus as the pilot site with the initiative of its Brgy. Captain Ruel Sumaguingsing. There were 20 children as the first batch of recipients. Volunteers from KAMPIL and other NGOs came to serve as educators and facilitators of the feeding session. This would go on every Saturday from 9:00AM to 12:00 NN at the Brgy. Corazon de Jesus Day Care Center.

As part of its continuing efforts to ensure quality of service, the Schools Division Office provides technical assistance to the volunteers like in preparation of lessons every Saturday. Danilo A. Castro, Jr., Education Program Specialist II in ALS and the focal person for Kariton Klasrum, oversees the smooth operation of the program. On Thursdays, they meet up with EPS Anselmo B. Joven in the office to discuss the approaches to be used in a particular topic.

If there is someone in the community who is not attending school for some reason, it is best to coordinate with the Schools Division Office to get the necessary intervention. It is open from Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00PM for personal inquiries or through the official website, for those who would like to get in touch with the authorities for more concerns. This is one way of sharing responsibility in caring for all the learners in San Juan, whether it be inside or outside the school, because education is a basic right that needs to be upheld in the best way possible under any given circumstances. DepEd San Juan will continue to be in the forefront in its commitment to all stakeholders as it rolls out the first Kariton Klasrum for the disadvantaged children-of-the-street.

Article written by:

Danilo A. Castro, Jr.

Education Program Specialist II in ALS

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