Target mabigyan ng programa ng USAID ng isa pang pagkakataong makapag-aral at makapagtrabaho ang tinatayang 180,000 out-of-school youth sa bansa. Ito ay sa pamamagitan ng P1.9-bilyon project na Opportunity 2.0 na tutulong na lalong mapahusay ang Alternative Learning System (ALS) ng Department of Education (DepEd), at mga skills training program ng Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Ang mga programang ito ng pamahalaan na para sa edukasyon at pagsasanay naman ang tutulong at magbibigay ng kaalaman at kasanayan sa mga kabataan upang magamit nila sa kanilang buhay, kahit sa gitna pa ng kasalukuyang pandemya, at modular, at distance learning.
Upang higit na mapaliwanag ang Opportunity 2.0: Second-Chance Opportunities for Out-of School Youth project, minabuting kapanayamin ng PIA-NCR "e-tanong" si Ms. Angelique Roux ng Education Development Center ng USAID.
PIA-NCR: Sino ba ang beneficiary o para kanino ang Opportunity 2.0 program?
Ms. Angelique: So "opportunity," maririnig ninyo from the term pa lang, "Opportunity 2.0," it is geared towards helping our vulnerable out-of-school youth, and the main goal is actually, for them to have better education, employment, and livelihood outcomes.
PIA-NCR: Why focus on our out-of-school youth?
Ms: Angelique: We have different numbers in terms of reports of out-of-school youths. In 2016, I think it was nine percent of Filipinos from six years old to 24 years old who are not in school, so that's almost one out of 10, medyo alarming 'yun! Mga 3.6 million out-of-school children.
Ms. Angelique: But I think there's a newer report, which was released in 2019, that was pre-pandemic, 1.2 million out-of-school youths. But now, because of the pandemic nga, the numbers have bloated, but we don't know the exact numbers right now because the schools have just opened last October.
Ms. Angelique: Of course natako na ang mga magulang, hindi na nag-enroll, nag-home schooling, etc. so for sure, our out-of-school youth numbers have bloated because of the pandemic.
PIA-NCR: How do you find beneficiary out-of-school youths?
Ms. Angelique: Opportunity 2.0 is a systems-strengthening project. Ang tinutulungan namin ay ang DepEd ALS [Alternative Learning System] at ang TESDA. So that they would have better curriculum, better teacher professional development programs, better monitoring and evaluation, kung baga, partners namin sila.
Ms. Angelique: We're helping strengthen their systems, so the youths that enroll in DepEd ALS and TESDA are the youths we are trying to help. If you think about it again, DepED ALS and TESDA ay ang ating "Second-Chance Education" and "Second-Chance Training" institutions in the country.
PIA-NCR: Bakit nga ba kailangan ng mga out-of-school youth ang "Opportunity" sa education o training?
Ms. Angelique: In the first place, it's important to note that DepEd ALS and TESDA programs are free. So eto 'yung nakapagtataka na madaming bata na imbes na nag-aaral o nag-i-i-skills training ay nasa kalye, nakatambay or doing other things. It's important to have at least "foundational education" so that they are equipped with the knowledge to survive in this world, [with] skills.Ms. Angelique: Not everyone is made for higher education and, I hope that I don't get shut down for this, but totoo, there are some na pag-graduate ng high school, aba! Napakagaling magbenta! Madaling mag-bake, for example, and they progress this way. So TESDA has programs for food trade. For example may baking, and that's an option for our out-of-school youth to take. Ang iba naman, siguro, ang gusto nila is talagang mag-higher education o mag-college, so definitely, they need to undergo, at least, until senior high school to be able to go to higher education.
Ms. Angelique: So that is an avenue youth to take kung mag-aral sila at makatapos ng senior high. There are some naman after senior high school, aba'y gusto nang magtrabaho! Again we cannot judge them. So they would be equipped if they join the Opportunity 2.0 Program to be able to go to higher education, to self-employment, or to wage employment.
Para sa kabuuan ng interview kay Ms. Angelique, panoorin sa link na ito: https://www.facebook.com/ PIAMetroManila/videos/ 400998081098876 (PIA NCR)