A second chance

Inmates get another chance at getting a college education

 MORE than 68 inmates are getting another chance at leading a productive life once they get out of prison with an earned college degree obtained from the University Southeastern Philippines through the College Education Behind Bars initiative.

THE FACADE of College Education Behind Bars.

THE FAÇADE of College Education Behind Bars.

The program, the first in the Philippines and possibly in all of Asia, in collaboration with the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP), through a Memorandum of Agreement with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Social Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Business Institute (SETBI), has successfully launched the College Education Behind Bars (CEBB).

CHED Commissioner, Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III, CHED Director for International Affairs Staff (IAS), Atty. Lily Freida T. Macabangun-Milla, BJMP RO-XI Regional Director, J/Ssupt. Amelia Abarriao Rayandayan, Ms. Honeylet Avanceña, and SETBI’s Atty. Susan Carriaga and Dr. Aland Mizell, vice president and president, respectively.

CHED Commissioner, Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III, CHED Director for International Affairs Staff (IAS), Atty. Lily Freida T. Macabangun-Milla, BJMP RO-XI Regional Director, J/Ssupt. Amelia Abarriao Rayandayan, Ms. Honeylet Avanceña, and SETBI’s Atty. Susan Carriaga and Dr. Aland Mizell, vice president and president, respectively.

Inmate students enrolled in USEP and will complete college courses taught by USEP faculty. Before students enrolled in the program, SETBI interviewed them about their motivation, length of sentence, and background. USEP administered the admissions exam and screened detainees for basic literacy and readiness for college, using such assessment tools as the Test of Adult Basic Education to determine their grade level and vocational assessment needs.

 Out of the 300 assessed, 70 passed the entrance exam with 45 males 25 females qualifying. SETBI is offering the first batch of students two courses on the degree plan for a Bachelor of Information Technology (IT) and a Bachelor of Agri Business and intends to teach Social Entrepreneurship and Hotel and Restaurant Management courses for a Bachelor of Science.

 In collaboration with USEP, SETBI determines the college degree plan, develops the curriculum, and governs the management structure of the partnership between the prison and the university.

 Recovery program

 What makes the College Education Behind Bars unique is that it incorporates the college education program with a recovery program.

 Inmate students also take a recovery class as well as recovery program classes, the prerequisites for inmates to enroll in the program.

 CHED Commissioner, Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III, praised USEP’s President Dr. Lourdes C. Generalao, Dr. Aland Mizell, Attorney Susan Cariaga, BJMP RO-XI Regional Director, J/Ssupt. Amelia Abarriao Rayandayan, Jail Warden JSupt. Grace S. Taclun and Assistant Warden JSInsP Robertto C. Gotico for this noble project designed for inmates not to waste their lives but to experience productive years while in prison.

Dr. Prospero expressed eagerness to support and for the Philippines Commission of Higher Education to recognize officially the Education Behind Bars program, so that CHED will adopt the initiative as a nationwide educational model.

SOME of the inmates enrolled at the College Education Behind Bars

SOME of the inmates enrolled at the College Education Behind Bars

 The University, represented by Dr. Lourdes C. Generalao, witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between SETBI and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on October 27, 2017 at the Ma-a City Jail in Davao City, for the potential expansion of the CEBB program nationwide.

 Also present at the MOU signing were CHED Commissioner, Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III, CHED Director for International Affairs Staff (IAS), Atty. Lily Freida T. Macabangun-Milla, BJMP RO-XI Regional Director, J/Ssupt. Amelia Abarriao Rayandayan, and Ms. Honeylet Avanceña, the common law wife of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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