Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa and Mr. Augusto M. Ragragio, Municipal Mayor of Magallanes signed the grant contract for “The Project for the Construction of Community Learning Center in the Municipality of Magallanes, Sorsogon” on 17 March 2016. The total grant amount is US$ 98,776 (or approximately 4.1 million pesos) and is funded under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).

Municipality of Magallanes currently faces challenges related to the high incidence of drop-outs and out-of-school children, the main reasons of which are greatly attributed to the high cost of education and poverty. To resolve this issue, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Magallanes tries to implement an educational program called Alternative Learning System (ALS)(※). Currently, ALS in the municipality holds classes in an old and dilapidated building. In the meantime, the current bad condition of the building and the lack of learning materials and training equipment is forced to compromise the learning process and posts threat to the security of the students.

Through GGP, the Municipality of Magallanes will be funded for the construction of a new two-storey community learning center and the procurement of training equipment with the aim of intensifying and improving the ALS there. The improved implementation of ALS in Magallanes, LGU will be able to benefit 2,895 residents who are willing to avail the free educational program and are eventually expected to improve economic and living condition there.

The Government of Japan, as the top ODA donor for the Philippines, launched the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. As of present, 514 grassroots projects have been funded by GGP. Japan believes that this project will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also contribute to further fostering a strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines toward the future.

(※) Alternative Learning System (ALS) is a free and short-term, non-formal education and learning system implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines. The program is intended for out-of-school children, youth and adult who do not have the chance to attend and finish formal basic education in school.
To facilitate the learning of the students, teachers conduct a series of lectures. After which, actual trainings are done to help improve the skills of the students. Compared with formal education, students can get certificate/diploma in a shorter period of time. The diploma certifies that the ALS students have competencies comparable to the graduates of the formal school system.

With the lectures and trainings given under the ALS program, students are expected to be equipped with knowledge and skills and have better job opportunities with higher income.

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Repost from: http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/pressandspeech/press/pressreleases/2016/16.html