KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 3 April) – For these two grandmothers, age doesn’t matter at all. It is not too late yet to get their high school diplomas.
Ramona Abaratigue, 72, councilor of Barangay Ginatilan here; and Federica Aliling, 61, from Barangay Nuangan; received their diplomas and gold medals during graduation ceremonies for graduates of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Alternative Learning System (ALS) on Wednesday.
Jane Sullivan, ALS coordinator for the Kidapawan City Schools Division, said the two lolas were among the 101 ALS graduates this year.
Both completed the five-month schooling that started November last year, Sullivan said.
Abaratigue said she is contemplating on pursuing a college degree.
During the ceremonies, she told fellow graduates that in education, “there is neither old nor young.”
“Even if you’re already a senior citizen, do not waste time in search for new knowledge,” she added
Abaratigue has represented 93 high school graduates during the graduation rites.
Kidapawan Mayor Joseph Evangelista, who chairs the Local School Board, said the ALS high school graduates, including Abaratigue and Aliling, would be given opportunities to complete tertiary education under the city government’s scholarship program.
In fact, according to Sullivan, they are already accepting applications from ALS graduates who signified interest in pursuing a college degree.
Sullivan said the ALS program has already produced a number of graduates who became successful in their chosen fields.
She cited the case of Christy Benlot who pursued a degree of Bachelor of Science in Education after she completed high school under the ALS in 2010. Benlot, according to Sullivan, finished tertiary studies in March 2013 and passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers last January.
Benlot was guest speaker during the ALS completion ceremonies held Wednesday at the Kidapawan City Pilot Elementary School gymnasium.