by: Ernesto T. Robles Jr.
Education Program Supervisor I
Alternative Learning System
The City Government of Balanga thru the leadership of Hon. Jose Enrique S. Garcia, the City Mayor, gives impetus to education as its top priority. Corollary to this, the Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC) was organized by virtue of an Executive Order. The organization of the LCC jumpstarts the different programs and projects that catered to provide an access to high quality education with complete facilities and amenities supportive and conducive to learning in order to enhance academic experience.
Members of the LCC comprise some department heads of the city government like the DSWD, Health, Agriculture and Planning. The ALS supervisor was likewise included as member to look into the programs and projects of the DepEd that has something to do with education.
Based on the survey conducted by the ALS Coordinators, mobile and volunteer teachers and barangay officials, the literacy rate of Balanga City is 98.82%. This is very considering the number of drop-outs in public elementary and secondary school. There are almost 1.18% illiterates in the city and these are being given much attention by the Alternative Learning System (ALS) through its “AGAP-SAGIP Program”, Project SCALE (Sustainable Computer-Aided Literacy Education), ABAKADA sa Literasi (Ang Bawat Kabataan Damay sa Literasi), informal education and other alternative delivery modes.
Different programs and projects of the city government that support literacy include: the purchase of furniture for the city library, covered court for all elementary schools, construction of classroom buildings, purchase of IT equipment for public school teachers, city library and LT laboratory, LCD projectors for Day Care Center, career program and development, city public safety, health care, social welfare and development and other noteworthy projects that promote literacy.
With all the necessary preparations and involvement of all sectors of society, the LCC has embarked into a junction of coordinating all these programs and projects to result for a comprehensive literacy program of the city. This development leads to the participation of the City of Balanga to 2010 National Literacy Award. Inspired by all the efforts exerted, the City of Balanga categorized under component city category of outstanding local government unit, evolved as first runner-up in its first attempt of participation.
After two years of continuous and endless enthusiasm and dedication, the City of Balanga entered again as contestant in the prestigious 2012 National Literacy Award. This time, the City of Balanga garnered the highest award, first among the five finalists. The award was given in Baguio City last September 2013.
Considering the efforts, cooperation and diligence in maintaining and sustaining all the programs and projects for literacy development, the City Government of Balanga is optimistic that it will again garner the first place award in the forthcoming 2014 National Literacy Award. Let us always keep our fingers crossed that every effort exerted will be recognized and that the will to win will always start a new hope.
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