DepEd, CFO, Phl Embassy Forge Partnership with Alternative Learning Centers to Provide Education to Filipino Children in Sabah

02 September 2014 – The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Community-based Education Program with six Sabah-based alternative learning centers (ALCs) last August 26.

The MOU aims to improve the capacity of the ALCs to provide basic literacy to Filipino children who have no access to regular education through capacity-building activities; professional, technical and administrative advice; and the provision of learning and instructional materials, among others.

Some 2,234 school-age undocumented Filipino children are now enrolled in the ALCs which are parties to the MOU, namely the Persatuan Kebajikan Pendidikan Kanak-Kanak Miskin (The Society for Education of Underprivileged Children) (Lahad Datu and Semporna), Stairway to Hope Learning Center (Kota Kinabalu), Stairway to Success Learning Center (Sandakan), Learning Translation and Review Centre (Keningau), Vision of Hope Learning Center (Keningau), and Sekolah Sukarela Persatuan MAFIL-KOFA (Keningau).

Undocumented children have extremely limited access to public education in Malaysia.

The CFO and DepEd were represented by Secretary Imelda Nicolas and Undersecretary for Partnerships and External Linkages Mario Deriquito, respectively. Both officials were on an official visit to Kuala Lumpur from August 26 to 27.

DepEd Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro dispatched Undersecretary Deriquito to Kuala Lumpur to look into the education needs of Filipino children in Sabah.

Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya signed on behalf of the Embassy, while heads and representatives of the ALCs signed for their respective institutions.

“Filipino children in Sabah are in a precarious situation and our initiatives are mere first steps in a long journey, but we are hopeful that with the dedication of all stakeholders, we will be able to transform through education the lives of these children for the better,” Ambassador Malaya said.

Specific implementing arrangements are now being worked out, including the possibility of holding a two-week training seminar for ALC teachers in the last quarter of this year. END