The ALS project in Atok is situated in four barangays – Bonglo, Caliking, Colong and Naguey. Before the project start up, a community workshop previously held in summer of 2005 surfaced out the education gaps in Atok that needed to be addressed by ALS. Therefore, the partnership building that ensued was a follow-up and an effort made to address the identified education deficits.
In each of the barangays, PEPE and ABLE sought the cooperation of the barangay officials, who in the process, appreciated the initiative to create the foundations for advocacy and implementation of ALS in their area. These local government units helped PEPE in initially mobilizing the daycare workers and a few parents in targeting the sitio where ALS is most needed and the kind of intervention that is appropriate for the ALS learners identified.
Both in Naguey and Caliking, the LGUs and the people specifically requested for ALS for the out-of-school youth, one that is linked with developing livelihood skills. They suggested an ALS that is linked to more possibilities and what they are already doing in their life like key-chain making, farming, and that which will take away the shyness of the youth. The ALS identified for Bonglo and Colong are 1) mentoring/reading sessions based on cultural values and knowledge of the Kankana-ey for “slow learners” in Grades 1-4 which was very much welcomed by the parents during visits with them and in meeting with the head teacher of the Bonglo Elementary School; 2) community learning sessions for parents and teachers on child rearing, values, computer use and other life skills.
Mentoring in Bonglo and Colong started in February 2007 and continued until April which was conducted in Bonglo Elementary School and in Batan Elementary School-Colong Annex. After undergoing a series of trainings and reading workshops, eight local educators served as teachers for the sessions. On 4 May 2007, 91 pupils from both schools finished the course.
Sitio Bucaran, the site for the ALS project with the Ayta is neither an ancestral domain nor a historically rooted community. It is a melting pot for Ayta families who could not find residence elsewhere. The families are not intimately related to each other, they are not families that migrated and settled in the area together; instead relatives came in trickles, stay for a while, leave and then return. Of all the Ayta settlements, Bucaran is viewed by the Ayta themselves as the most impoverished. There is no school, no daycare center and no health center in Bucaran, only a trading post for the Ayta “kalakal” and few tricycles.
PEPE works in Bucaran in partnership with the Development Action for Grassroots Learning (DANGLE), a local NGO of Kapampangans in Floridablanca, Pampanga. The members of DANGLE have been activists during the Marcos period and since the change in the political situation have been implementing development projects with the “unat” and “kulot.
The Aytas, and on this we are in agreement, believe that a literacy program in their area should be linked with their livelihood. The exciting challenge is for the ALS to develop a literacy education program interwoven into their life-world. On December 19, 2006, the ALS project in Bucaran is formally launched.
The Community ALS in Klubi, Lake Sebu has been a success. It was able to enhance the capacities of local educators to develop, organize and conduct their own ALS, based on the learners’ needs and founded on indigenous knowledge of the T’boli. Prior to the pilot sessions, the local volunteers enriched their capacities as educators and prepared the appropriate learning environment and materials. Of the 21 volunteer educators who were part of the ALS Local Advocacy, 19 remained very active and took turns in sharing responsibilities in the Pilot Sessions that were conducted from January to March 2007. Further, it was able to maintain the active participation of learners from session 1 to 18. The 68 learners all graduated in the March 18 culminating activity. The women even asked to have an ALS 2 so they can further developed themselves. Other community people are also requesting a Batch 2 for ALS. Having witness the acceptance of the community of the ALS, Mayor Salif, who attended the graduation of the learners, pledged his support for the program, should he be re-elected as mayor.
The advocacy for LGU’s to involve in the ALS, finally bore fruit in Klubi where the barangay chairman promised to help in many ways (not in monetary ways) to support the ALS in Klubi. This was a big change from the previous year when Kapitan Manuel did not welcome the ALS at all during courtesy calls. Realizing the benefits of having an ALS for the women and other community members of Klubi, Kapitan Manuel even encouraged his wife to be active in the ALS.
Popular Education for People’s Empowerment, Inc. or PEPE is a non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) based in the Philippines. It was formed in 1986 by several development-oriented NGOs to serve as a center for their various popular education — “pop-ed” as we call it — activities.
PEPE is dedicated to the promotion of “pop-ed” theories and practices as tools towards people’s empowerment. As part of its commitment to human development, PEPE provides “pop-ed” services to a diverse set of people: urban poor, peasants, fisherfolk, professionals, women, indigenous peoples, etc. Its services are focused on enhancing these sectors’ capacities, knowledge, skills, and attitudes as community educators. This key function has brought PEPE in close contact with numerous developmental organizations, in the process strengthening its advocacy and networking efforts at the community, national and global level.
PEPE’s early years were devoted to helping consolidate the ranks of educators within the Philippine NGO and peoples’ organization (PO) community. Trainings were mostly geared toward developing educators’ capability to respond to the needs of their respective constituencies.
Since then, PEPE has constantly strived to be at the forefront of non-formal, adult education work in the Philippines. Aside from regularly organizing consultations and conferences and facilitating sharings of experiences in education work among educators, PEPE’s innovative “pop-ed” concepts and methodologies, particularly in the area of training work, has brought about significant changes in the way many organizations conduct their own education activities.