Leyte prison education programs continue amid ambush incident

THE selected persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) turned students at the Leyte Regional Prison (LRP) in Abuyog, Leyte have continued their studies amid the ambush incident that killed three of their custodial personnel and injured the outgoing corrections chief.

“The incident is an isolated one,” said Edgar Tenasas, Leyte assistant schools division superintendent.

“We should not be afraid. If we stop, who else then will help these PDLs dream dreams and help make their dreams come true,” he added.

Tenasas said their education programs would serve as “legacy that will remain in the hearts of these people whom we serve.”

“We should remain to make this legacy be a token for the future,” Tenasas said.

“We started the journey with them. We started to touch their lives. We should be one with LRP officials in this endeavor,” he said in a statement.

Leyte Division through Schools Division Superintendent Ronelo AL Firmo launched the Senior High School program to the 63 PDLs who passed in this year’s Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) test of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program of Leyte which was introduced at LRP in 2013.

Jeffrey Pontillas, senior high school coordinator assigned at the correctional facility, thanked Tenasas for assuring the teachers and PDLS that classes will not be hampered by the ambush incident on August 6.

“Initially, the teachers were afraid to travel to LRP for their safety. The PDL students were also worried that the teachers will not show up in their classes. Despite the risk, we decided to continue teaching because this is for the betterment of our students,” Pontillas said.

“We continue doing our job inside the Leyte Regional Prison because these people need us,” added Jake Laurence Laurente, an ALS teacher assigned inside the facility.

Along with his co-teachers Jay Christopher Humawid, Noel Quinante, and Rudy Robin Montajes, Laurente reported that more learners will be enrolled in the ALS program from the facility’s Reception and Diagnostic Center where newly-arrived PDLs are placed for two months for acclimatization purposes before they will be put in their new environment.

According to Laurente, they already have 90 ALS learners.

These PDLs turned ALS students are composed of 25 learners in the elementary level, 38 for secondary level, and 27 for basic literacy program.

Laurente also reported that in 2016, at least 137 PDLS successfully passed the A&E Test, while in 2017, they had 68 passers.

Passing the ALS’ A&E Test would allow the students who have not attended or finished elementary or high school in the formal school system to enroll in secondary and post-secondary schools. (SunStar Philippines)


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