April 22, 2022 marks a major milestone on the road to inclusive education for the Philippines, as 100 newly developed Alternative Learning System (ALS) modules are handed-over by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to the Department of Education (DepEd). Attended by UNESCO's project partners such as representatives from the DepEd, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and other key stakeholders, the official hand-over ceremony was successfully held at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati Hotel in Manila.
This formal hand-over event is a momentous event for the partnership of the 3 organizations - UNESCO, KOICA and the DepEd in promoting inclusive quality education by strengthening the non-formal education in the country with the project "Better Life for Out-of-School Girls to Fight Against Poverty and Injustice in the Philippines" supported by UNESCO and funded by KOICA.
The newly developed ALS modules include 50 national teachers' guidebooks that will provide ALS teachers the required knowledge and skills to properly deliver the lessons to ALS learners, and 50 national students' workbooks aligned with the six learning strands: communication skills in English and Filipino, scientific and critical thinking, mathematical and problem-solving skills, life and career skills, understanding the self and society, and digital literacy.
Mr. Kim Eunsub, Country Director of KOICA Philippines, mentioned in his remarks that KOICA is committed in ensuring the right to education for all by strengthening the education system in partner countries, including a support to education programmes to prevent a learning loss for vulnerable groups such as out-of-schools girls and youth. He expressed that despite the significant hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the new ALS modules finally endorsed by DepEd are ready for use, to improve the quality of ALS across the Philippines.
In remarks accepting the 100 newly developed ALS modules handed over by UNESCO to DepEd, Asst. Secretary G.H. Ambat of the Alternative Learning System stressed the importance to provide updated curriculum and learning resources of ALS for teachers and learners. She added that ALS modules have become the main and critical delivery modality used by learners as a way to equip them with skills to be able to contribute for themselves and the community nation building. Dr. Mee Young Choi, Head of the Education Unit of UNESCO Jakarta, on behalf of Dr. Mohamed Djelid, Director of UNESCO Jakarta Office, expressed her sincere appreciation to all partners for their unwavering support in the development of new ALS modules.
The new modules, as ALS learning resources, contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4, especially for out-of-school girls, ensuring their right and access to inclusive, equitable and quality education.