Peace brings the best of education for the Lumads

by Fr.  Raymond Ambray  |

Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development or ALCADEV reaped 20 graduates last March 15, 2011 during its 4th graduation ceremony at the school campus in Sitio Han-ayan, Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. The event was considered most special because the entire school year (2010-2011) proceeded without any interuption of war or threat of evacuation. Hence for the first time, Alcadev holds a 100% passing rate of their students who took the Accreditation and Equivalency (A and E) test conducted by the Department of Education – a test to measure the capacity of these students of alternative education at par with the formal education.

With the theme: ‘A food secured community, emblem to education of progressive quality’, the celebration was graced by no less than the First Secretary on Political Affairs of the Belgian Embassy, Mr. Jozef Naudts, whose government supported the technology to enhance the food security of the different communities comprising the MAPASU (Malahutayong Pakigbisog alang sa Sumunsunod) organization. Other visitors and supporters of the school came from the LGU’s, NGO’s (New World and Infants Du Mekong), PO’s and the ecumenical Church personnel.

In his speech as the guest speaker, Mr. Naudts underlined the right to food as the basic human right and that it can also be a fundamental problem. He then reiterated the commitment of the Belgian government to constantly address this problem. Through the Belgian Development Cooperation, his government has financed the three-year food security project in the area that benefited primarily the parents of the students and members and leaders of the of the organization through their Scientific Sustainable Agriculture (SSA) school program. Representing the graduates, Mr. Sarry Campos thanked everyone who made this event more meaningful for them. He stressed the significance of the food security project for the progress it brought to their education and their communities.

Indeed, the event capped the success story of this alternative education which according to Sr. Helen Maquiling, MSM, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Alcadev Inc., has, above all, enriched the capacity of the Lumads in tilling their own ancestral land and their capacity for self-determination.

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