Malaybalay high school batch initiates fund support for ALS learners 

MALAYBALAY CITY  (MindaNews/27 December) — Instead of the usual reunion party, the 1994 batch of high school graduates from Bukidnon State College (now university), is launching a financial support and advocacy project for learners of the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System (ALS).

Some 90 members of HS Batch 1994 celebrated their 20th year by launching the “Adopt-an-ALS learner” project.

ALS is a parallel learning system under the Department of Education (DepEd) that provides a practical option to the existing formal instruction.

According to many, Filipinos do not have a chance to attend and finish formal basic education due to many reasons. Some drop out from schools while some do not have schools in their communities.

“Since every Filipino has a right to free basic education, the government establishes ALS to provide all Filipinos the chance to have access to and complete basic education in a mode that fits their distinct situations and needs,” it said.

Wendy Egoy, coordinator of DepEd ALS Malaybalay West district, welcomed Batch 94’s help and hopes other alumni associations would do the same.

Jeffralyn Bularong, 26, ALS learner, wants to be a teacher someday.
Jeffralyn Bularong, 26, ALS learner, wants to be a teacher someday.

The batch piloted the project in June 2014 with one fellow, 26-year old Jeffralyn Bularong, an orphaned polio survivor from Malaybalay City. She told her teachers she is determined to study as she wants to be a teacher.

Bularong is one of around 400 learners attending Egoy’s ALS district.

When she attended the Bukidnon State University College of Teacher Education bridging program for ALS learners, her teachers endorsed her for support by the batch. BSU-CTE held the bridging program starting in 2013 as its extension program.

HS Batch 94’s community outreach committee chose Bularong as the learner to support because she displayed positive traits such as her self-reliant initiatives. She polishes nails and does nail art in her free time so she can earn for fare and her personal needs. She lives with a relative in Brgy. 7, who supports her by providing food and accommodation while she attends classes with ALS.

The batch computed Bularong’s weekly allowance for fare, food, and miscellaneous expenses and raised the fund through members’ pledges. The fund is transferred to her through the ALS coordinator, who releases the amount every week. The batch raised a total of P10,760 since JUen to help support Bularong.

The batch is launching the project also as an advocacy for other BSU alumni to consider.

Maria Flordeluna Lariba, Bularong’s science teacher at the BSU bridging program, said the program has benefited the latter well.

“This is good initiative that should continue to benefit the youth especially those who are willing to study but have great difficulty due to lack of financial support,” she added. (MindaNews)