A total of 22 Alternative Learning System (ALS) learners from the host communities of Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC) completed the education program that is being supported by the company through its Social and Development and Management Program (SDMP).

A total of 22 Alternative Learning System (ALS) learners from the host communities of Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC) completed the education program that is being supported by the company through its Social and Development and Management Program (SDMP).

Of the learners, seven came from Barangay Talavera, five from Sitio Campandan and 10 from Sitio Bagong Silang.

The ALS learners, along with their parents and loved ones attended and witnessed the completion program ceremony held at the Multi-Purpose Hall, Brgy. Talavera, Taganaan, Surigao del Norte last August 11, 2016.

The theme for this year's completion program was, "Kabataang mula sa K-12 Tagapagpadala ng Kaunlaran sa Bansang Pilipinas."

The ALS completion ceremony program is the fifth graduation rites of the ALS program since it was founded in 2012 as part of the Education component of the SDMP of HMC, an affiliate of Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC).

For five consecutive years upon its conception, NAC-HMC has continuously supported the ALS program in its host communities by providing free matriculation and school supplies to the learners and even extended financial assistance.

Department of Education (DepEd) CARAGA Administrative Region representatives led by Domingo Larong,Chief Curriculum Implementation Division (CID) attended the completion program.

Also in attendance were NAC-HMC staff headed by ComRel Senior Supervisor Jay-r Resuera and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Barangay Talavera led by Barangay Captain Marvin R. Tapuyo.

The ALS, a program of DepEd, is a parallel learning system in the country that gives an opportunity to individuals who have no access to the existing formal education to finish their studies through this informal type of education program.

Moreover, the ALS program has non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.

The learning sessions of the learners of ALS can be based upon the agreed schedule between the learners and the ALS learning facilitators.

This characteristic of the education program is what gives it flexibility and empowers it to provide a way for learners who do not have the luxury of being able to go to the classroom to attend classes on a daily basis to finish their studies.

Apart from the schedule, another notable difference between the ALS education program and the formal education program is that with ALS, you do not have to teach in classrooms.

ALS learners and learning facilitators can conduct classes and sessions in school campuses, community halls and private places.

ALS sessions done in school campuses is known as school-based while those conducted in community halls or private places is called the community-based.

The ALS program supported by NAC-HMC is for the secondary level, which would mean that if the ALS learner has completed the program, he or she is recognized as a graduate of the secondary or high school level.

By completing the program, the learner can proceed to college or vocational education depending on their choice.

Delivery of the instructions and lessons from each ALS session is provided by ALS facilitators, who follow a uniform lesson module for all academic subjects that include: Sciences, Mathematics, English, Filipino, Social studies and Current Events among others.

Among the facilitators of the ALS program were Chares H. Domingo for Barangay Talavera, Melven A. Trajano and Ginalou Turtur for Sitio Campandan.

Before ALS learners complete the program, they have to undertake an Accreditation and Equivalency (ALS A&E) Test, which is designed to measure the competency of the ALS learners.

Learners who will pass will be qualified to enroll in the next school level and are given a certificate/diploma, which bears the DepEd seal and the signature of the Secretary.

The certificate/diploma certifies their competence as comparable graduates of the formal school system and be eligible to proceed further up the academic ladder.

During the course of the ALS completion ceremony program, Chief Curriculum Implementation Division (CID) Domingo Larong congratulated all the graduates.

“It is never too late. Do not be discouraged to achieve something you want. Just look at our president, he is already 70 plus years old but he was able to become

the president of our country,” Larong said. NAC-HMC ComRel Senior Supervisor Antonio B. Resuera also congratulated the ALS learners and also imparted a message to the graduates in behalf of NAC-HMC Resident Mine Manager Engr. Arnilo C. Milaor.

According to Resuera, ALS learners should not limit their ambition to just completing the program.

“Continue with your dreams. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars. Do not be afraid to try, for you have only failed if you have failed to try,” he added.

The ALS program, NAC-HMC ComRel Senior Supervisor Antonio B. Resuera said, has also produced more than 300 graduates.

“The effort is geared towards sustainable development by improving literacy in the community,” he said.

He added: “Barangay Talavera attained a significant milestone in as most of the residents of the small village are now able to read and write.”

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