Pursuant to that advocacy, Gov. Lilia G. Pineda has set as one more priority goal of her administration the enrolment of the out-of-school youth in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program of the Department of Education (DepEd).
Surveys conducted by students hired under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) of the local government and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported that Pampanga has some 50,000 out-of-school youth.
“Talent and skills are in the nature of the Kapampangan, we cannot just let this go to waste on account of failure to put the youth in school,” Pineda said, lamenting that poverty has in most times served as insurmountable obstacle to schooling.
The governor said she looked at the OSY sector as province, “either a problem or a potential, depending on what the government would do or not do.”
“If we let them be, they are easy prey to drugs and crimes. If we get them back to school where they can learn some trade, they become productive citizens,” Pineda said. “The choice for us is clear.”
She said the Capitol will closely coordinate with the DepEd to allot certain hours for the schooling of the OSYs using the barangay high school buildings.
The governor made her observations at the forum with 916 passers of the ALS program held at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center last Monday.
She urged the ALS passers to “go to the next level” of training with the Provincial Manpower Training Center (PMTC) or the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to further their skills to help them secure jobs locally and even globally.
“Pasikanan yu ing lub yu, ali kayu maririne uling byasa kayu. Dakal manayang obra para kareng meg-training lalam ning PMTC ampong TESDA (Strenthen your resolvem do not be shy for you are good. There are jobs waiting for those who trained with the PMTC and TESDA),” the governor said.
Provincial Librarian Bessie Macabali, for her part said that the Capitol will provide educational assistance to all OSYs.
Meanwhile, Exequiel Pangilinan, education program specialist and focal person of the Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) and ABOTALAM program of the DepEd, lauded the provincial government for ensuring the education of every Kapampangan.
The provincial government of Pampanga constructed a community learning center for ALS students located in Barangay San Matias, Sto Tomas, the first of its kind of facility in the entire country.
— Bong Z. Lacson with Liezel Cayanan/PIO