A facility for girls who want to continue their education under the alternative learning system(ALS) was inaugurated on Thursday(Sept.14)inside the compound of the regional office of the Department of Education at Government Center, Palo, Leyte. The center’s construction was funded by Koice and Unesco. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) and the Department of Education (DepEd) has inaugurated a facility intended for girls who are enrolled at the alternative learning system on Thursday (Sept.14).

The groundbreaking of the facility, dubbed as ‘Girls Education Center (GEC)”, was graced by Koica country director Kim Eunsub, DepEd Undersecretary Gina Gonong and Assistant Secretary G.H. Ambat, and Dr. Choi Mee Young of Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) multisectoral regional office based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The GEC, built inside the DepEd regional office at Government Center, Palo, Leyte, is one of the key components of the “Better Life for Out-of-School Girls to Fight Poverty and Injustice in the Philippines” Project of Koica and Unesco Jakarta launched which was 2017.

The construction of the center started in 2021 and was completed March of this year. It can accommodate at least 30 students.

“The GEC is envisioned to be a one-stop educational hub where ALS learners of Tacloban City and surrounding areas in Leyte will be able to avail holistic support and opportunities to improve their lives through continuing learning and life skills training under the ALS program,” Koica country director Kim said.

Koica provided $1-million funding for the construction of the building including the equipment.

The facility is part of Unesco and Koica assistance to Eastern Visayas when it was pummeled by Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ 10 years ago.

The project’s primary target beneficiaries are out-of-school-girls registered in the ALS Program for further education and job opportunities.

Through the project, DepEd Regional Office8 also received 1 mini bus which will be used to shuttle the ALS girls’ learners from different parts of Leyte to and from the center.

“As we inaugurate this center, we reaffirm our belief that every girl deserves equal opportunities, just as boys do, in terms of education, job opportunities, living standards, and respect within our society. Education serves as a powerful catalyst for personal growth and skill development, allowing individuals to reach their full potential,” Evelyn Fetalvero, DepEd regional director, said.

The facility, she added, would give hope to ALS girls students that they too could have the quality life they deserve in the future.
The building is not just a plain physical structure but a memento of commitment to the achievement of the 4th Sustainable Development Goals, Fetalvero stressed.