CitySavings supports ALS in taking the road less travelled

(L - R) CitySavings Calapan Branch Business Head Donna Magcamit with beneficiary ALS teacher Jenelyn Baylon and Porfirio G. Comia Memorial Elementary School, Oriental Mindoro Principal Maileen Evangelista during the turnover of the technology tools donated by the bank.

Common knowledge dictates that a certain level of education is needed for an individual to secure gainful employment. However, many Filipinos do not have the chance to attend and finish formal basic education due to many reasons. Some drop out from schools while some have limited or no access to schools in their communities.

The Department of Education's (DepEd) Alternative Learning System (ALS) program was established to provide all Filipinos the chance to complete basic education in a mode that fits their distinct situations and needs.

Jenelyn Baylon, an ALS mobile teacher of Naujan West District Oriental Mindoro took the challenge of mentoring deprived, depressed and underserved out-of-school youths and adults in her province.

Bravely driving a motorcycle to cross mountains, fields and rivers as well as holding classes in make-shift classrooms in remote and faraway places is a task fraught with peril and uncertainty. From natural hazards to lawless elements, this mobile teacher goes through quite a lot just to get to their students. Serving others as an educator brings her joy despite the risk. So much is her dedication to work that even her pregnancy did not deter Baylon, a mother of one, from extending education to out-of-school youths.

Last 2016 on its 50th anniversary, City Savings Bank (CitySavings) started helping ALS teachers fulfill their hopes and aspirations to bring literacy to areas unreached by formal education.

"With CitySavings' help, [I was able to] implement ALS program, conduct advocacy and social mobilization, and implement e-learning in remote areas. Learners became more active, discussions are easier, and participation rate has increased", said Baylon.

She further mentioned that "CitySavings has been a reliable partner of the educators in making a difference in the lives of their learners and showing so much passion to go the extra mile to empower their communities through education."

To date, the bank has aided 933 ALS Mobile Teacher beneficiaries in 33 DepEd school divisions by donating laptops and LCD projectors.

"The donation has played an excellent impact to the teaching and learning process between the ALS Mobile Teachers, the District ALS Coordinators and the learners because they were able to utilize the ALS digitized modules which is very useful with the use of the video materials that allow the ALS learners to experience an entirely different way of learning" said Helen A. Arancon, Education Program Supervisor, Division ALS Focal Person.

"Your commitment to help our learning facilitators and learners in our community is sincerely appreciated. You are the Samaritan of ALS," she added.

True to its commitment in providing a venue for better education and participating in the nation building, CitySavings will continue to support in addressing the learning needs of the marginalized and underserved citizens and the education sector through its CSR initiatives.