On September 6, 2023, the Alternative Learning System of Davao de Oro through the Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Cristy C. Epe and the Provincial Government of Davao de Oro through Governor Dorothy P. Montejo Gonzaga officially signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Unlad Kabataan Program of PSWDO- Youth Development Division at Provincial Capitol, Nabunturan, Davao de Oro.

UNLAD KABATAAN PROGRAM aims to help the OSYAs to continue and pursue education through giving them cash assistance and skills training while in the Alternative Learning System program. Under the UKP is also the ESKWELDA Program (Eskwela sa Selda or Education Behind Bars) which also aims to give assistance to the learners detained at BJMP- Montevista District Jail , Provincial Rehabilitation Center, and Bahay Pag-asa Center.

Witness during the signing was Josephine M. Frasco of Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office together with DOLE DdO Livelihood Dev’t Specialist Randello Braga and TESDA DdO Senior Specialist Lorelle Mahipus.

With full support the Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Epe encourage the learners to continue pursuing their dreams regardless of age and status. She was also amazed with the courage and dedication of the learners to pursue their schooling in one of the mining areas she had visited in the province.

“I have experienced going to mining areas sa Davao de Oro ug ang mga tao didto nangiskwela ug naghatag gyud ug importansya sa edukasyon.” SDS Dr. Epe said.

“Akoang hangyo kaninyo, hilabi na nga naa mo sa ALS mopadayon gyud mo ug maningkamot nga makabaton ug skills training kay usa pod na ang importante. Still, the right education that you need, DepEd can facilitate. Kaming tanan, para kaninyong tanan” SDS Dr. Epe added.

The superintendent was glad to the partnership of the different government sectors with one agenda- to help the community, especially the ALS learners.

“Kamo nga nangiskwela ug balik really needs the support that you need,” Governor Gonzaga said as she commends the learners as completer and graduates of the ALS A&E Program for Elementary and Junior High School. She also extends the gratitude towards the ALS teachers and their efforts in helping and guiding the learners to attain a second chance education.

Since 2019, the Provincial Government of Davao de Oro, Alternative Learning System, TESDA, and PESO remains being a good partner in helping the out-of-school youth and adults enrolled in ALS in terms of education, skills training, and cash assistance as a support to the learners. Now, this marks another milestone as partners as we continually provide assistance to the last, the least and the lost.

Furthermore, after the MOU signing was the releasing of cash assistance to the selected beneficiaries all over Davao de Oro. A total of 950 beneficiaries who will receive 2,000 pesos incentives coming from the Provincial Government of Davao de Oro through the Unlad Kabataan Program of PSWD- Youth Development Division.

Written by Eddie Jr. Agbon-Cabansag

Photos by Albert Dayao