The Undersecretary for External Partnerships and Linkages, Honorable Mario A. Derequito visited Batanes on March 29 to April 1, 2015 to personally honor and award the Division of Batanes after having been identified as the first division in the country with a zero Out-of-School Youth (OSY).

 

The celebration of zero OSY in Batanes on March 31, 2015 which was attended by the Schools Division Officials (SDO) headed by Acting Schools Division Superintendent Wivina B. Gonzales, Hon. Vicente S. Gato, Provincial Governor, Hon. Ronald Aguto, Provincial Vice Governor, Hon. Demetrius Paul C. Narag, Municipal Mayor of Basco, Hon. William Agsunod, Municipal Mayor of Mahatao, Hon. Gerry Agana, representative of the Municipal Mayor of Ivana, Hon. Enrique Nanud Jr., Municipal Mayor of Uyugan, representatives from the line agencies, Abot-Alam teachers and learners, ALS mobile teachers and DALCs, was the highlight of the undersecretary’s visit .

 

The zero OSY in the province is the result of the all-out effort of the Abot-Alam teachers and ALS mobile teachers led by the Abot-Alam Program (AAP) Focal Person Preciosa G. Rivera, Education Program Supervisor (EPS).

 

The AAP is a nationwide approach led by the Department of Education in consortium with different government and non-government organization which aims to assist and support the OSY through education, entrepreneurship and employment. It also aims to locate the OSY nationwide who are ages 15 to 30 years old and who have not completed basic/higher education or who are unemployed and to mobilize and harmonize programs which will address the OSYs needs and aspirations.

 

The program is designed to create a comprehensive database of OSYs in the country by organizing a barangay OSY targeting system, unify the efforts and resources of all agencies and organizations directed to solving the problem of OSY in the country, and ensure that all OSYs have access to programs and services of different agencies and organization.

 

In response to promotion of the program, the AAP team of Batanes started to act in achieving the objectives. In July 2014, the AAP team advocated and campaigned for zero OSY in Batanes. They also conducted rigid household mapping, identified and registered target OSYs beneficiaries in August 2014 to September 2014 and did program matching from October 2014-November 2014. They also conducted a rigid barangay mapping in January and conducted functional literacy and intensive monitoring in February.

 

As a result, they were able to register 574 learners and addressed their needs. Learners were given the opportunity to choose from the interventions offered by the program. Based on the records submitted by the different Abot-Alam teachers, 47 learners were registered in entrepreneur, 90 in employment, and 437 in education province wide.

 

89 learners who underwent basic functional literacy are now gainfully employed in different government offices and private entities and some are self-employed.

 

The coordination of AAP team to the different LGUs also gained success. As evidence, the Provincial Government provided financial assistance for trainings conducted by TESDA and the six municipal mayors promised to provide casual employees to help the Abot Alam teachers and employment and training for the Abot-Alam learners. In addition, the barangay captains also expressed their support to the AAP.

 

The different line agencies also showed their support to the program through maximum involvement during the advocacy period and launching program.

 

At present, basic skills trainings conducted by ALS and AAP teachers who are holders of COC, NC I, and NC II are still on going.

 

Prior to the celebration, the Undersecretary visited the island municipality of Sabtang on March 29 together with the Schools Division Officials wherein he was able to meet the municipal mayor, Abot-Alam teacher and ALS mobile teacher, and the learners. And on March 30, Hon. Derequito went to the different Community Learning Centers in Batan Island and was able to meet the Abot-Alam teachers and ALS mobile teachers and the learners.

 

Representatives from the line agencies namely Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Agriculture (DA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)s also joined in celebrating the achievement of the AAP in Batanes.