(Formerly Non Formal Education, NFE )
By Heriberto A. Bautista, Municipal Consultant
The ALS (formerly NFE) was initiated in the early 80’s to provide livelihood skills to out-of school youth and adults. It offered livelihood courses like tailoring dressmaking, cosmetology and food processing. As the years passed, the program produced positive results through the improved lives of the completers. The Local Government Unit of Pozorrubio in the late 90’s decided to give the name ART & EMMA Literacy Program in recognition of the full support (materials and financial) given by the incumbent and former town’s chief executive – Mayor Emma T. Chan and former Mayor Artemio Q. Chan.
ART & EMMA Literacy Program is an acronym for Achievement of Reform Transformation & Empowerment of Municipal populace in managing self and community development and adults and out-of-school youth through literacy program. The scope of the program was enlarged from simply offering basic livelihood program to a modern one that combined the utilization of the basic literacy training, untapped skills of the beneficiaries and the indigenous resources of the community.
ART & EMMA Literacy Program is one strategy on advocacy and social mobilization for strong and strategic partnership among the Local Government Units. (LGU’s). Department of Education (DepEd) and Non-Government Organizational (NGOs).
It envisions to challenge and inspire the basically literate populace of the town to utilize their potentials towards the betterment of their selves, for the good of their families and the community as well. It signifies teamwork and exemplifies that leadership style of the Mayor in the implementation of programs and projects integrated in the ART & EMMA Literacy Program. It focuses on the increase of literacy rate of the populace for functionally literate persons are assets of the country. Eight (8) components were integrated in ART & EMMA Literacy ProgramWith their functions and roles namely:
- Literacy Program (Nonformal and Formal Education)
A1 Nonformal Education – Information dissemination, education campaign through advocacy and social mobilization; conducts training / seminars among School ALS coordinator, District ALS Coordinators, Instructional Managers and Facilitators with the Division and Regional ALS Staff; provides financial and technical support in the organization of ALS classes and learning groups like: Functional Education and Livelihood, Literacy cum Livelihood, Literacy Service Contracting Scheme (LSCS) and ALS A & E Accreditation and Equivalency Program. A2 Formal Education – Hiring of 33 Local School Board Teacher to answer the needs of lack of teachers (Elementary and Secondary); sponsors scholars ( High School and College Students); offers pre-school classes in all barangays; allocates Local School Board Funds for School repair / facilities; Elementary and Secondary); instrumental in the construction of school building donated by Filipino – Chinese Associations and National Government; supports school programs and activities; opens two (2) new Elementary Schools and one (1) High School Annex
- Agricultural. Production and Livelihood Program – Establish / maintain municipal and barangay nurseries; livelihood for income – generating projects (Livestock Dispersal), swine fattening, goat raising and cattle fattening; conduct seminars on Cooperatives Development; construct / maintain and repair agricultural post harvest facilities (multi-purpose pavement, small water impounding projects, irrigation canals); construct shallow wells, deep wells, dug wells and other irrigation facilities
- Infrastructure Development – construction/maintenance/repair of drainage, sewerage system, power and communication facilities; public market; construction/repair/maintenance of government buildings; construction/renovation of barangay halls, multi-purpose buildings and street lighting project; and flood control protection project
- Health, Nutrition & Family Planning Program conducts the following: counseling seminars; linkages with non-government organizations, Provincial and Rural Health Units of the Department of Health Units of the Department of Health for Medical Missions; trainings of community health workers. Also encourages the use of herbal medicines through proper education and trainings, and promotes the advantages of vegetable gardens.
- Cottage Industry- Promotion of the rattan and bamboo industry (basket weaving, furniture making, rattan handicraft); wood craft (wood carvings, furniture); buri industry (hat making); and organization of a mini-trade fair by the Pozorrubio Business Council to promote the cottage industries in Pozorrubio.
- Food Processing – Meat processing (tocino-making, skinless longganisa, etc. fruit and candy making
- Cosmetology – Manicure, pedicure and hair styling
- Sewing – Dressmaking and tailoring
ON DEVELOPMENT ORIENTATION
Different literacy programs were organized in barangays with the highest level of illiteracy as shown in the result of the literacy mapping conducted May 1995. Previously literacy mapping was conducted by the Barangay Health Workers and Day Care Workers as instructed from their Head of Office in support of ART & EMMA Literacy Program. Results showed that high illiteracy or school drop – outs were from depressed; disadvantaged and underserved barangays.
ALS conducted in the ART & EMMA Literacy Programs made a great change in the life of the learners. Learners became literate. They encourage their children to go to school. Community Learning Centers were constructed. One Learning Center was constructed in a piece of lot donated by one learner.
ART & EMMA Literacy coordinated with the Department of Education in the hiring of Instructional Managers who are conducting literacy classes. The Instructional Managers were selected from the participants who attended the 3-day training of training of Instructional Managers at Bobonan Central School. These instructional Managers are presently conducting learning sessions in four (4) learning venues. These learning sessions were expansion program of the ALS A&E program at Bobonan Central School as pilot project of Pangasinan Division II. The Municipal Local School Board financed these learning groups with Twenty Three Thousand Pesos (P23,000) per class. The present appropriation according to the Budget Officer for ALS is P150.000 and from the LSB P280,000 or a total of P430.000.
ON THE MANAGEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
The ALS literacy programs assisted by LGU are funded by the Municipal Local School Board Fund, Provincial, Barangay and Non-Government Organizations. Advocacy and social mobilization was conducted to ensure the success of the program. Provincial, Municipal and Non-Government Organizations worked together to achieve the goal of the program.
Non-Government Organizations like Pozorrubio Jaycees, Rotary Club of Pozorrubio Tennis Club, Ernesto T. Go Foundation were tapped in addition to HAI Foundation to support the children’s education of indigent families. These are the NFE A&E and LGU assisted Accreditation and Equivalency completers who took the NFE A&E Test May 12, 2002 at Bobonan Central School, Pozorrubio District II.
ON PROJECTS EFFECT ON LEARNERS
The organization and conduct of Nonformal Education classes on literacy and livelihood made the parents of out-of school youth realize the importance of education. Completers of Nonformal education classes were self-employed by selling their products in the nearby townsm, even as far as Baguio City. Some sold their products in school canteens during school days, others were employed as beauticians, dressmakers and sales lady.
Completers who were qualified to work as domestic helpers abroad went to Hong Kong elementary and high schools as resulrs of ALS improve their standard of living and send their children to school.
According to reports submitted both by ALS facilitators of DepEd elementary and high schools as results of ALS seminars for the year 2007, there are five (5) who are employed abroad, twenty – three (23) who are employed locally, thirty – one (31) self-employed and four (4) passed the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) test.
Children of indigent families who were interested to finish high school became scholars of HAI Foundation, managed by the Ex-Municipal Mayor being its founder in 1998. Municipal scholarships were granted to children of poor families who wished to enroll in college.
These effects on the learners inspired the Ex.-Municipal Mayor to put up the ART & EMMA Literacy Program to serve the indigent families of Pozorrubio. This program is being relentlessly pursued by the incumbent Mayor Emma T. Chan.
Her able leadership gets the full support of the different Local Government Units, government agencies like Department of Education and non-government organizations NGOs). The national and provincial governments also support the programs and projects of Pozorrubio. All government units and the people of Pozorrubio work hand in hand to achieve the goal “Sulong Pozorrubio: Sama – sama sa Pag-unlad.”