Former inmate lands as topnotcher in jail through ALS

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The local government of Quezon city is the first to allow inmates continue their education in jail through the Alternative Learning System program.

Shortly after he finished serving his sentence in prison, Victorio Principe found himself coming back to jail but not for the same reason. His first encounter was way back on 2013 when he was detained for drugs but this time, he returned to attend his graduation day.

20-year old Principe is among the other 23 inmates of the Quezon City Jail Male Dormitory who graduated high school through the Department of Education's Alternative Learning System (ALS). This parallel learning system aims to provide a substitute way of learning to people who don't have access to a formal education.

Principe lands as topnotcher among the high school graduate inmates. He has attained an average of 99% in the ALS equivalency exam and is the 4th highest among the Quezon City passers. He was released last June 2015 and came back shortly to receive his high school diploma.

Nakalaya ako noong June lang, bumalik lang ako para sa graduation namin. (I was released only last June. I just came back for our graduation.)
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Like most inmates who joined ALS, Principe was not able to finish his education due to poverty. He immediately quit school after graduating elementary to work as a construction worker and provide for his family. When he learned of the ALS program, he quickly grabbed the chance to attain a high school diploma even if he's in prison.

Hanggang Grade VI lang po kasi natapos ko at kailangan na huminto kasi kinailangan magtrabaho sa construction dahil wala na kaming kakainin. (I was only able to finish grade six and I needed to stop studying because I need to work as a construction worker, otherwise we won't have anything to eat.)

Quezon City jail warden Superintendent Randel Latoza said that the Quezon City Jail Male Dormitory recently adapted ALS not only to help inmates return to school, but also to help rehabilitate offenders and to prevent them from coming back to prison.

Joining the ALS program may help lower an inmate's sentence. It will be a way to rehabilitate them as well as help decongest the jail.

Hopefully, other cities and local government will follow this lead and adapt ALS inside prison. This will not only lessen recurring offenders, but it will also give the inmates a hope for a better life once they make it out of prison.

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XOLXOL: Former inmate lands as topnotcher in jail through ALS
Former inmate lands as topnotcher in jail through ALS
The local government of Quezon city is the first to allow inmates continue their education in jail through the Alternative Learning System program.
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