PIAGAPO, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–Magnifying the concern on literacy as one of the primary factors behind the security issue in the province of Lanao del Sur, the 51st Infantry “Fuerte Uno” Battalion has gone beyond what is expected of it with its implementation of the Expanded Education Program (EEP).
Under this program, the battalion plied the Alternative Learning System (ALS) to foster education of the populace in the municipality of Piagapo.
Battalion Commanding Officer LtCol. Fernando Payapaya stressed that they have been striving for this initiative seeing this as one of the means to counter the Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group, although non-existent in the area already but has significantly marked the history of the municipality.
He stated that while they mold the residents, especially the youths, to become citizens who are not vulnerable to easy recruitment of leftists, the effort will likewise pave the way for opportunities as an effect of increased literacy.
“Ang pinakamain na purpose ay para madeny ang recruitment ng mga kabataan o out-of-school youth na nakatira dito sa part ng Piagapo at hindi sila makarecruit… Pangalawa, nakakatulong tayo sa illiteracy rate sa area at magiging stepping stone ito towards their future dream. Alam naman natin na kahit out-of-school youth ay may mga pangarap din,” said Payapaya.
[The main purpose of this is to deny the recruitment of the teens or the out-of-school youths living here in this part of Piagapo… Second, we are able to help with the illiteracy rate in the area and this will become their stepping stone towards their future drea. As we know, even the out-of-school youths also have dreams.]
The battalion commander shared that in partnership with the Department of Education, the EEP was pushed through beginning last week of August in 2021 and utilized some of their available soldiers to be mobile teachers.
With the change of administration soon in the 51st Infantry Battalion, Payapaya looked forward to the sustainability of the started advocacy on literacy.
He further underscored that this may even be complemented with technical skills training in collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Payapaya conveyed his hope that the graduates of their program will continue to pursue their education.
“Ang hope ko na ipagpatuloy nila iyong education na ito. After nito, pwede na silang mag-advance towards next level of education kasi credited ito sa DepEd. Qualified na qualified sila to proceed kasi naconduct na natin ang evaluation at hindi sila makakasama dito kung hindi sila nakapasa sa validation na ginawa ng DepEd,” he said.
[My hope is that they will go on with this education. After this, they can already advance towards the next level of education because this is credited by the DepEd. They are very qualified to proceed because we already conducted the evaluation and they cannot be here if they did not pass the validation led by the DepEd.]
The first batch of resident pupils graduated from ALS on June 8 wherein 42 learners completed the Basic Literacy Program, and 13 and 34 students finished accreditation and equivalency (A&E) elementary and junior high school respectively.
Moreover, another batch of graduates from the municipality of Madalum in the same province shall accordingly follow this week. (CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)
The first batch of the Alternative Learning System implemented under the Expanded Education Program (EEP) of the 51st Infantry “Fuerte Uno” Battalion in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) graduate and receive their respective certificates and awards. During the ceremony, 42 learners completed the Basic Literacy Program, and 13 and 34 students finished accreditation and equivalency (A&E) elementary and junior high school respectively. (Michael John Paclar/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)