EM­BRAC­ING THE LAST, THE LOST, AND THE LEAST: THE STORY OF AN ALS TEACHER

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

REX LAU­RENCE O. LOPEZ

Mrs. Mar­lyn Don­doy started teach­ing English at Das­mar­iñas Na­tional High School - Buli­han An­nex in Silang, Cavite on Septem­ber 16, 2002. Ev­ery­thing was go­ing smoothly.

But eleven years af­ter, she was as­signed with what she con­sid­ered as the great­est chal­lenge in her teach­ing pro­fes­sion – the task to han­dle Al­ter­na­tive Learn­ing Sys­tem (ALS).

At first, she was un­cer­tain as to where and how to be­gin, hav­ing no records of out-of-school youth and adults from dif­fer­ent barangays in their lo­cal­ity. Amidst the strug­gles, she was able to gather the tar­get learn­ers. She was then des­ig­nated as the school’s full-time ALS co­or­di­na­tor. The job was com­plex, as it en­tails han­dling in­di­vid­u­als with di­verse back­grounds. Mrs. Don­doy ex­pe­ri­enced how dif­fer­ent it was from han­dling learn­ers un­der the for­mal sys­tem of ed­u­ca­tion.

It was dis­heart­en­ing for Mrs. Don­doy to note that han­dling ALS is not that ap­peal­ing among teach­ers. This is why she em­braced the chal­lenge tighter. “As a teacher, it is my duty to share a shade of hope to my learn­ers, es­pe­cially the out-of-school youth and adults who are some­times con­sid­ered the last, the lost and the least,” she shared.

In 2013, she had six learn­ers in se­condary level who suc­cess­fully passed the ALS Ac­cred­i­ta­tion and Equiv­a­lency (A&E) Test. The fol­low­ing year, there were a to­tal of 17 passers – two for el­e­men­tary, and 15 for se­condary. Bul­li­han Na­tional High School also be­came one of the Test­ing Cen­ters in the Schools Di­vi­sion of Cavite City.

In 2015, Mrs. Don­doy was des­ig­nated as the Test Reg­is­tra­tion Of­fi­cer. With all the courage she could muster, she went to three ex­ten­sion cen­ters of Bureau of Jail Man­age­ment and Penol­ogy (BJMP) in Car­mona, Silang, and Gen­eral Mar­i­ano Alvarez in Cavite to reg­is­ter de­tainees who were qual­i­fied to take the test.

This year, she had 33 passers – six for el­e­men­tary, and 27 for se­condary. The in­creas­ing num­ber is a tes­ta­ment to how Mrs. Don­doy per­se­vered in her mis­sion, and cared for her learn­ers.

Some of these passers are al­ready em­ployed, and this is what she con­sid­ers as her re­ward for all her hard work, which could not be equaled by any mon­e­tary com­pen­sa­tion.

(Source: http:/ / deped.gov.ph/ sto­ries/ em­brac­ing-last-lost-and-least-story-als-teacher)

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