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SUGPAT-ALSPA holds first FGD in Dulian

Last March 23, ACCA-SUGPAT inaugurated its first focus group discussion (FGD) in Barangay Dulian to determine the educational needs of out-of-school-youths enrolled in the Alternative Learning System (ALS).

Attended by 14 ALS learners from the ALS center of Brgy. Dulian and 16 parents and guardians, the FGD focused on assessing subject matter interests among the OSYs to help in the formulation of the curriculum for the SUGPAT Alternative School for Peacebuilding and the Arts (SUGPAT-ALSPA).

“We don’t want to design an alternative school that is too withdrawn from what the communities really need,” explained Rogin Eribal, program officer and education specialist of ACCA-SUGPAT, on the importance of holding these FGDs in the priority barangays.

Eribal added that the need for this FGD is to make sure the SUGPAT-ALSPA provides the authentic learning experience to its learners, considering their skills and their vision for their community.

Preliminary analysis of the results of one group show a heavy interest in connectivity among the 21st century skills presented. There was also a desire for the youth to engage in technologies that allow them to communicate with other people from across the globe.

Erica Marie Francisco, one of the documenters of the FGD, felt that those interviewed were very participative in giving their personal insights during the session.

“It was the interest and eagerness that they were showing which made us connect with them on a very personal level,” Francisco said.

The session was made possible through the support of Hon. Leon Tabuena, the Brgy. Captain of Dulian, Upper Bungiao, Mrs. Mildred Valesco-Aguilar, District ALS Coordinator of the Department of Education, and Mrs. Welma Omboy, program officer of AdZU’s Social Awareness and Community Services Involvement (SACSI).

This FGD is part of a series of sessions that ACCA-SUGPAT aims to hold in the next couple of months to strengthen preparations for its third implementation of the program this year.

The SUGPAT Adolescent Development and Participation program is a flagship program of the Ateneo de Zamboanga’s Center for Culture and the Arts supported by UNICEF Philippines.

Val Amiel Vestil / Ateneo Center for Culture and Arts