The “Life Skills Training-Workshop on Financial Literacy and Basic Business Management for Alternative Learning System (ALS) Implementers” was organised on 4-6 February 2020 at Hotel XYZ, Tacloban City, Philippines. The workshop was conducted in partnership with the Philippines’ Department of Education under the project “Better Life for Out-of-School Girls to Fight Against Poverty and Injustice in the Philippines” funded by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). This project supports the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically, SDG 4 as well as SDG 3 and 5.
The capacity building activity envisaged to raise the level of financial literacy of ALS implementers as well as to introduce them to the fundamentals of business management. It included topics such as entrepreneurship and basic accounting for non-accountants. Fifty-two (52) ALS implementers from DepEd’s Divisions of Tacloban City and Leyte actively participated in this highly engaging workshop. The facilitators employed adult learners’ methodologies such as lectures, role-plays, games, group activities, and presentations. The participants were not only provided with theories on the subjects but were also given opportunity to have practical tips and hands-on exercises for skills acquisition.
On behalf of the Regional Director of DepEd Regional Office VIII-Eastern Visayas, Mr Alfredo Cafe, the Regional ALS Focal Person, delivered inspirational message to the participants. He highlighted the important role played by ALS implementers (mobile teachers and district ALS coordinators) in the implementation of ALS programme of the Department of Education. As ALS implementers, the learners look-up to them and consider them as role models. Hence, it is important that ALS implementers “practice what they preach.” Having said that, it is with high hopes that ALS implementers themselves are financially literate and with sound understanding of business management principles to be convincing to their learners.
Mr Alfredo Cafe also expressed his profound appreciation to the eagerness and enthusiasm of the participants, the ALS implementers towards the capacity building activity. The topics of the workshop are very opportune considering the nature of ALS learners as well as of the ALS programme that basically caters the most disadvantaged segment of the society. He also expressed appreciation to UNESCO and KOICA for their unwavering support to the Department of Education, especially to Regional Office VIII-Eastern Visayas.
On behalf of UNESCO Jakarta Office, Mr. Marmon A. Pagunsan, the National Project Consultant in his remarks, highlighted that this capacity building activity is UNESCO, KOICA and DepEd’s investment to the participants, the ALS implementers who are the mobile teachers and district ALS coordinators. As such, it is with high hopes that there will be a favourable return of investment and net profit by having the ALS learners especially the girls becoming an entrepreneur or someone with the right investment and enjoys financial freedom. Equally important, it is also aspired that they themselves, the ALS implementers, are financially literate and with sound business management principles understanding.
This life skills capacity building activity for ALS implementers, UNESCO supports the Department of Education in the Philippines in the implementation of its Alternative Learning System programme. Its aim is that of improving the quality of life for girls living in poverty. In particular, it is supporting out-of-school girls registered in ALS programme for their further education opportunities and future job chances in order to improve their lives. As such, increasing the capacity of the ALS implementers, the mobile teachers and district ALS coordinators, are paramount to the attainment of objective of the project.