Implementers of “Katok Para Sa Magandang Bukas” or “Project Tokbuk” combed through the different neighborhoods in Valenzuela City from November 11 to 22 to track down more than 3,400 out-of-school youth (OSY) listed in the 2016 Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) to sign them in to the Alternative Learning System (ALS).
The lighting of the city’s Tree of Hope tonight, November 25, was dedicated to them new recruits to try ALS, DepEd’s parallel learning system that provides a practical option to the existing formal instruction. The tree is traditionally lit for different sectors since 2004 to usher in the Christmas season in the city.
Project Tokbuk is an educational campaign of the Valenzuela local government to strengthen the ALS program. It is the newest addition to the continuously expanding and improving Galing Pook awardee “Education 360- Degrees Investment Program.”
Through the aid of Synergeia Foundation, the ALS Division of the Department of Education (DepEd) – Valenzuela formed a Community-Based Learning System (CBLS) which will offer special courses on improving the learners’ life and economic skills. Classes will commence on January next year.
Under Project Tokbuk, ALS learners are assured of free school supplies, modules, and food allowance every time they attend their classes. It aims to eradicate the negative perception that ALS is of lesser degree compared to formal system of education. This alternative option is a 10-month long intensive module-based self-study which is attended by instructional managers, explained Valenzuela City Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Meliton Zurbano.
Learners are guided through learning strands to prepare them for the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) test. Those who pass the A&E test in high school are given diplomas which they could use as their passport to enrol in senior high school and eventually, to college.
The campaign strategy was copied from the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) ‘Oplan Tokhang’ wherein target personalities are visited by the local authorities at their respective abodes so that they could be individually encouraged to cooperate with the government programs. “Pero hindi ito ang katok na hindi kinatatakutan, bagkus inaabangan (This is the knock on your doors which you need not be afraid of but should be anticipated.),” City Mayor REX Gatchalian pointed out during the ceremony.
During the ceremonial launch which coincided with the lighting of the Tree of Hope, future learners proudly wore red shirts which says “Na-Tokbuk ako (I am a Tokbuk beneficiary).
These “Tokbuk” youth are recognized and valued by the local government as individuals with humongous potentials to contribute to nation building and societal growth. “We want education in Valenzuela City to be inclusive and nobody should be left behind from the opputunity to make his life better,” the mayor said.