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Thursday, January 29, 2015

ALS helps fulfill one’s dream

By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY - The Department of Education’s (DepEd) Alternative Learning System (ALS) has transformed the once meaningless life of a young parent into a productive member of the society.

Maritess Amadeo Delos Reyes, 31, single parent, and a resident of Lower Dicayas, Dipolog City is now a professional teacher after she graduated from a Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEED) degree at the Jose Rizal State University, Dipolog City campus in 2014.

From Davao to Dipolog

Maritess or Tess, as fondly called by her friends, is a native of Digos City, Davao del Sur, but grew up and finished her elementary education in Sawata, Davao del Norte. Because of poverty, Maritess was not able to proceed to high school. Instead she had to work as housemaid in Davao City right after finishing her elementary education to help her parents.

At age 16, she met a partner and blessed with a baby boy. Like other young couples, their union did not work and they parted ways. In trying to forget her sad love story, she migrated and tried her luck in Dipolog, City leaving her son to her mother-in-law.

Hope in ALS

Maritess, who seemed to forget the meaning and value of education, has revived her interest in education when she met a certain Tony Recososa who prodded her her younger sister, Marlyn, to enroll in ALS and to take the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) test.

To cut the story short, Marlyn took and passed the A&E test. She then took uo cosmetology, a TESDA-accredited course, at the Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga City. As a skilled manicurist, Marlyn was able to find employment in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Inspired by her sister

“My younger sister’s success through the ALS inspired me to follow in her footsteps,” Maritess said. “I decided to enroll in ALS and took the A & E test in 2009.”

Her strong determination enabled her to pass the A&E test, making her eleigible to enroll in college with Marlyn, her younger sister, supporting her studies at the Jose Rizal Memorial State University, Dipolog City campus. She took up Bachelor of Elementary Education and graduated in 2014. She then took the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) given by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in Pagadian City on Aug. 17, 2014. When the LET result was released, Maritess hurdled the test.


Right now Maritess has been hired by the Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS) of the Dipolog City Schools Division as a volunteer-teacher for ALS’ newest program, the “Abot Alam Program,” which caters to the educational needs of the out-of-school youth aged 15-30 years old who have not finished their studies and/or unemployed.

Tess considers her entry to ALS as the fulfillment of her dream to help other people who have abandoned their studies and lost their desire of going to school for various reasons.

“Now that the government has come up with these programs, we must grab it. One has only to open up his mind to realize that our government has not abandoned us. Let us show that we want also to improve. With ALS, the government wants everyone to earn education regardless of age. That there is no such thing as late or “gulang naman ko” (am old enough).  The government is so good, because it offers a program for those who have not gone to formal education. Who would ever think that after having been away from school for so long, I could still finish a course after enrolling in ALS and passing the A & E test,” Maritess shared.

Maritess is one of the many who benefited the ALS program of DepEd