ISABELA CITY, Basilan, Nov 8 (PIA) - Regional focal persons on the Alternative Learning System (ALS) in the country is convinced that the youth development mechanism of Isabela City is worth replicating nationwide.
This after a benchmarking activity of the ALS program was recently concluded where some thirty officials and focal persons from different regions and schools division of DepEd-ALS visited the city and held a dialogue and sharing of best practices from the members of the Isabela City Youth Development Alliance.
The benchmarking was held after the forerunners of the Mindanao Youth Development (MYDev) Program of USAID have introduced the success stories from the life skills modules used in alternative learning system of the program that can be replicated in the DepEd-ALS system.
While the six-year MYDev program has ended in 2018, the mechanism of collaboration and synergy that it has left for LGU-beneficiaries to sustain remain in place through the Isabela City Development Alliance (ICYDA).
The ICYDA is an alliance that caters to the development of out-of-school youths in the city which has been branded by USAID-MYDev program as "trailblazers" in terms of youth development initiatives for the youth.
City Mayor Sitti Djalia Hataman was impressed by the success stories of the youth and the alliance. She even convinced that the mechanism of an ICYD alliance is also worth continuing.
"Isa pong karangalan kung maipagpapatuloy natin lalung-lalo na ng office of the city mayor ang mga naumpisahan ninyo (It will be an honor to continue the program especially by the city mayor's office on what you [alliance members] have started)," Mayor Hataman said, stressing that the city "always seek to build from what has been there and if possible do more and better".
The mayor was happy that the efforts of youth development is geared also towards protecting the environment which is in sync with the vision and plans of the city, especially on rejecting the use of single-use plastics.
She also recognized the issues confronting the youth, like drug abuse and violent extremism, among others. She said that the stories of transformation of former Abu Sayyafs who completed the ALS program is worth sharing to the entire country.
"We realize that they [former ASGs] were also seeking for opportunities to feel that they are also an important part of the society and that they can also contribute to the welfare of the nation in spite of who and what they were before," she said.
She also challenged the officials present that the youth should not only be beneficiaries of projects and programs but also to empower and develop them into major contributors of peace and development in society. (EDT/RVC/PIA9-Basilan)