Director of Department of Education Region XI Spoke to MCI Weekly Study Forum about General View of Alternative Deliver Mode of Education System

BESIDES giving scholarships and implementing other projects, MCI offers Saturday night weekly study forums to discuss current issues. In this regard we invited the head of Philippines’ Department of Education Regional Director, Attorney Alberto T. Escobarte CESO IV, Region XI, and Dr. Janette G. Velosa, Ed.D OIC-CLMD Department of Education Regional Office, on Saturday night, September 19.  They presented a general overview of ADMs; the different modes of instructional delivery and learning principles; the roles of school administration, teachers, learners, NGOs and community; and the challenges and benefits of implementing such learning systems. We were especially interested in the role of state and non-profit organizations in the education of the disadvantage students. After our guest speakers finished their talk, students and MCI tutors asked questions about the ADM program and the Philippine’s government K-12 program. The Director argued that ADM program gives an opportunity for youth who do not have a means or a way to attend school full time, but through the ADM program students can still manage to finish high school. MCI student tutors wore their green T-shirts for easy identification. Director Escobarte and Dr. Velosa honoured MCI by contributing their knowledge and opinions to the MCI weekly Saturday night

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forum. MCI partners with several universities in the Philippines and abroad. These liaisons serve MCI‘s goal for educational development, which increasingly has become the main focus of all MCI’s programs because significant indicators point to education as the chief means of bolstering literacy in all its forms, training students for their careers, mentoring future community leaders, and subsequently alleviating the social ills that accompany illiteracy. In addition, MCI is partnering with Thompson Christian School (TCS) to implement a faculty exchange program between TCS and Boles Independent School District in Texas. MCI is currently helping TCS to develop a K-12 program and to prepare students for graduation through the Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) program in which MCI tutors high-risk students who are not succeeding in a traditional setting in order for them to obtain a diploma. To help them overcome social and economic constraints in their schooling, the program addresses the learning needs of marginalized students and of those learners who may have dropped out. The ADM innovations are believed to make the schools more inclusive and more flexible, especially for children who do poorly in school or are at risk of dropping out, or are hard to reach, living in highly congested learning environments or having difficult coping with a regular school calendar. Because the partnership for basic education programs, including childhood education, aims to increase quality education for vulnerable populations, we target the disadvantaged young people, out-of-school youth, marginalized students, or students who are struggling to go to school every day, and tackle the causes of their inadequate or inequitable education such as their need to work, lack of finances, family and personal problems, distances from their home to school, lack of role models, early pregnancy, early marriage, and other justifiable and legitimate reasons. Because of problems as well as a lack of motivation, value for education, discipline, and role models, these students did not go to school or did not continue in it. Therefore, to prevent drop out and to improve retention, MCI envisioned a mentorship program to make students more comfortable in a learning environment, to make the learning experience more interesting and engaging, and to develop personal relations with them in order to listen to them as they voice their struggles as well as to encourage them to finish the program.

              Our research determined that the combined collaborative efforts of four entities–Minority Care International (MCI), Thompson Christian School (TCS), the Department of Education in the Philippines (DepEd), and a university partner (in this case the Department of Special Education at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP), among other universities–would produce the most effective and sustainable educational benefits for the high risk population mentioned above. At the end of the semester the DepEd will provide a certificate to college students who volunteered to tutor ADM students as an incentive for college students to help the less fortunate and to accrue on-the-job training in their field of education. 
             ADM students register at TCS and will graduate from that K-12 institution. ADM students go to TCS once a week; in addition, they attend MCI tutorial sessions during week. MCI provides the physical place for ADM students with university students tutoring and mentoring, rotating grade levels during different evenings of the week. Tutors are matched based on their subject range, suitability for each student’s needs, and scheduling. In addition to providing academic assistance, tutors also become a role model and mentor for their students through the strong bond they develop. TCS provides modules for ADM students to follow. Aside from the physical space, MCI also provides computers to offer students a foundation in computer literacy and to teach the use of basic information and communication technology tools. ADM students will earn 60 % of their credit from study at TCS and 40 % from attendance at the mandatory MCI tutorial sessions.. Both TCS’s ADM coordinators and MCI’s coordinators meet at least once a week with the TCS administration and the MCI college students who tutor the ADM students one-on-one. Both MCI’s ADM coordinator for the tutors and TCS’s ADM coordinators closely monitor the ADM students to make sure that each student follows the modules and attends the tutorials. TCS provides tutors a notebook for each ADM student to take notes, and those notes are given weekly to the TCS administration. Most of the tutors who teach the ADM students are majors in special education, so they are already trained for these types of tasks. As of now, there are 60 students enrolled in the ADM Program. They have registered at TCS, attend Sunday sessions there, and study one scheduled weekday for two hours for the tutorial sessions offered by MCI. Each college student who tutors has a booklet about each ADM student to evaluate them weekly, and to give the result to the TCS program head. Presently, 40 students and volunteers come from different universities to tutor the ADM students, but predominately the main feeder institutions are the University of Southeastern Philippines, the University of Mindanao, and the University of Immaculate Conception. The program leads give tutors authority to rate the students’ performance based on how they respond to every question the tutors give, their attendance, and their readiness (preparedness) when they arrive at the tutorial center in the Turkish Coffee Shop. The tutors give their assessment of the students to the ADM teachers at TCS, and that grade is added to their Performance Tasks (PT) with the 
percentage of 40% for the overall evaluation.

             Besides giving scholarships and implementing other projects, MCI offers 

Saturday night weekly study forums to discuss current issues. In this regard we invited 

the head of Department of Education Regional Director, Attorney Alberto T. Escobarte 

CESO IV, Region XI, and Dr. Janette G. Velosa, Ed.D OIC-CLMD Department of 

Education Regional Office, on Saturday night, September 19.  They presented 

a general overview of ADMs; the different modes of instructional delivery and learning 

principles; the roles of school administration, teachers, learners, NGOs and community; 

and the challenges and benefits of implementing such learning systems. We were 

especially interested in the role of state and non-profit organizations in the education of 

the disadvantage students. After our guest speakers finished their talk, students and MCI 

tutors asked questions about the ADM program and the Philippine’s government K-12 

program. The Director argued that ADM program gives an opportunity for youth who 

do not have a means or a way to attend school full time, but through the ADM program

students can still manage to finish high school. MCI student tutors wore their green T-


shirts for easy identification. Director Escobarte and Dr. Velosa honoured MCI by 

contributing their knowledge and opinions to the MCI weekly Saturday night forum.

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