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Second chances behind the bars

Everybody knows that education is essential for our life. With education, we can do lots of things. Education is the basic requirement these days for everything that we hope to do. If we need to work, our employers will first ask about our education.

There are numerous details why people need education. The main reason for this is that we need to be mindful of the things that touch our daily lives. It is the need of all human beings to know about what is happening so that they can plan for future and take any chances to counter immediate difficulties and situations.

Currently, there is a vast choice of education. People can study to become artists, engineers, doctors, nurses, architects, care givers, teachers, accountants, computer experts, government servants, and many other professions.

The importance of education can be implicit from one fact that educated people live happier than those who are uneducated. With good education, we can have a better chance to land a good career and be financially stable.

Education is also important for other reasons. Education can give us good and healthy life. Education helps us to know uses of various types of food and how to consume them. It also educates us about how to protect ourselves from diseases and stay away from bad habits.

Our first teachers are our parents. They teach us how to speak our native tongue and recognize things around us. Teachers and professors play a vital role in our life by teaching us various important and specialized subjects. Learning helps us to identify rules and regulations and makes us accountable citizens of our country.

Moreover, educational program aims to provide opportunities not only for the learners in their age but also for Person Deprive of Liberty (PDL) to achieve mandatory education. For this reason, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) adopted the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education for the PDL to earn their elementary and high school diplomas. Teachers in the jail-based ALS are BJMP personnel who are professional teachers and trained on the Instructional Method for ALS. In jails where there are no personnel trained to handle ALS classes, the ALS teachers would be coming from the Department of Education. All PDL enrolled in the ALS earn their respective Time Allowance for Teaching, Studying and Mentoring (TASTM) pursuant to RA 10592.

According to the data from the Bureau of Jail and Penology Management, more than 700,000 people each year are released from our nation’s prisons, but within three years of release, four out of ten of them end up back in prison because they have committed new crimes or violated the terms of their release. One strategy for closing this revolving door is to provide education to inmates while incarcerated so they have the knowledge, training, and skills to support a successful return to their communities.

Preparing individuals coming out of prison with the needed vocational skills and education to successfully reintegrate back into society is challenging. Formerly incarcerated individuals, on average, are less educated than the general population. Many lack a high school diploma or certificate and the occupational skills needed to succeed in the labor force. Further, the stigma of having a felony conviction on one’s record is often a key barrier to finding employment after prison.

This School Year 2021-2022, the SDO San Juan City through Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program recognized 28 completers from BJMP not only completing as well as meeting the standards of their Portfolio Assessment. Through this apparent pandemic situation, these ALS PDL made it through and realized that education is at its best when a person puts heart on it. Whether regular or traditional education, and now experiencing the digital education brought to us by this situation and to continue their basic education inside this temporary shelter, is something they will cherish with the help of SDO San Juan City through Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program. This proves that ALS is not a second class education but a SECOND CHANCE EDUCATION for those who were once lost. With this program, we are aiming to help more out-of-school youth and adult who are lost and the least members of society and hopefully become inspiration to them that truly indeed, there is always hope.

Sa ALS may Pag-Asa!

Some snaps from the recent Moving-up Ceremonies:

Article Written by:

Erwin C. Dela Cruz

Education Program Specialist - ALS


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