ASUNCION, DDN – Over 200 students have been enrolled and are now ready to start their non-formal education under the 60th Infantry Battalion’s (60IB) Army Literacy Patrol System (ALPS) after it was formally opened at 60IB’s headquarters here on Saturday (June 15).

60IB opened the program especially for all former rebels (FR) and their families, CAFGU Active Auxiliaries (CAA) and their dependents, and interested out-of-school indigenous peoples (IPs) from the four (4) municipalities within its area of operations (i.e. Asuncion, Kapalong, and San Isidro of Davao del Norte, and Laak of Davao de Oro).

In his remarks, 60IB Executive Officer, Major Jo Anthony Lee Lalas, emphasized the importance of education not only in countering the communist insurgency but in ensuring the continuous socio-economic development of “conflict-resilient” communities.

Meanwhile, acting as guest of honor, the Department of Education (DepEd) Alternative Learning System (ALS) Coordinator of Asuncion, Nelson Bansag, Jr., challenged the “new learners” to take advantage of the opportunity given to them.

50 ALPS products and recent passers of the National Accreditation and Equivalency Test were also confirmed graduates and given their secondary education equivalency diplomas.

As 60IB gears toward utilizing its ALPS program as its sustaining community-building and development platform to aid the national government’s thrust of “ending the local communist armed conflict,” all the local chief executives of Asuncion, Kapalong, San Isidro, and Laak has all committed to supporting the initiative.

In addition to the regular ALPS curriculum, the program will be embedded with practical activities (e.g. educational tours), cultural exchange sessions, and skill-enhancement trainings among others.

The ALPS, which is equivalent to the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System (ALS), is a duly recognized component of the department’s non-formal education and national accreditation and equivalency programs.