“Gusto ko makatuon magbasa.”
Eleven-year old Kevin (not his real name) admits he cannot read even if he was able to attend third grade. He comes from a broken family and has been involved in theft cases in the city.
Kevin is the youngest among the 27 beneficiaries who decided to avail free ALS education under the Kalinga sa mga Batang Lansangan Year 5 of the LGU. The Kalinga 2015 opened on June 25. ALS stands for Alternative Learning System.
His classmates in Kalinga include fellow Children in Conflict with Law and other out-of-school youth who comes from family-beneficiaries of the 4Ps program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Kevin was encouraged by a city social worker who had been handling his case since 2014.
“Hindi [ko] maglagaw-lagaw para makagraduate [sa ALS],” Kevin mused.
“Ano himuon mo pag makabalo ka na magbasa kag maka-graduate ka?” “Mag baligya ko sang karne sa palengke..negosyo.”
Kevin’s vision, as simple as it may seem, is what fuels Kalinga sa mga Batang Lansangan.
“These children need to have a vision. We have to help them dream and work for their betterment,” stated Councilor Psyche M. Sucaldito who authored the City Ordinance 03-2014 insitutionalizing Kalinga sa mga Batang Lansangan and allocating funds therefor.
Kalinga sa mga Batang Lansangan
Kalinga sa mga Batang Lansangan offers free LAS classes, provides students with school supplies and uniforms, provide recreation and sports activities, spiritual counseling, and free snacks and lunch every schoolday.
The Tacurong City Police Office, just like in the previous years of Kalinga, provides free rides for the students every school day. This is to make sure that the children get to and from the center safely.
“Diri sa Kalinga, tudloan man kamo sang skills nga makabulig sa inyo pagpangabuhi,” Cluster ALS Coordinator Adonis Gatcho addressed the Kalinga students. Skills training is also offered by the City Social Welfare adn Development Office.
“We also see to it that children are taught about discipline and responsibility”, stressed CICCW Head Nancy Bawe. “With that, they will definitely achieve their dreams”, she added.
Kalinga sa mga Batang Lansangan had already produced ALS graduates in the past years. In January 2015, nine beneficiaries of Kalinga passed the ALS Acceleration and Equivalency Test.
Kalinga is now on its fifth year and has been recognized as a community-based literacy and preventive intervention program for street children and CICL.