The Dunong-Gulong mobile school project of Ang Dating Daan and UNTV received recognition from the Masbate Unit of the Department of Education (DepEd) earlier in February, citing Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano’s advocacy in helping poor, out-of-school youth and dropouts obtain and complete education for free.
Masbate was a pioneer province for this joint educational project first launched in November of 2010. In the three-year stay of Dunong Gulong in the area, it has been transported to the cities of Mobo, Milagros and Placer.
Dunong-Gulong in Masbate has already produced 131 scholars, all passers of the accreditation and equivalency test given by DepEd out of the 369 enrolled students in the program.
Danielo Despi, a DepEd- Masbate division superintendent, acknowledged the intent of the project.
“The advocacy shown by this endeavor is really good. The bus symbolizes our care for our fellow people,” Despi remarked.
The Dunong Gulong is a duly recognized undertaking supportive to DepEd’s Alternative Learning System (ALS). ALS is a program initiated by the department that aims to provide an alternative means for the youth, and even senior citizens, to finish their schooling.
Mobile school program by the government can be mounted by a private, non-government organization, but with the supervision of the government agency.
The mobile, community-based learning system was conceptualized by Bro. Eli Soriano and Kuya Daniel Razon to give people, especially the youth, the opportunity to have education at par with what traditional academic institutions offer.
Bro Eli is the Presiding Minister to the Members Church of God International (MCGI), locally known by the name of the religious program it produces, the Ang Dating Daan. Kuya Daniel, on the other hand, serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BMPI-UNTV. He is also incidentally the Vice-Presiding Minister to MCGI.
“It is inspiring to see how our youth strive [to pursue and finish their studies]. The difficulties they face in life do not hinder them to persevere and grab the chance to attain education,” said Bro. Danny Navales, the MCGI Representative who received the award given by DepEd.
Bro. Roland Antonio, on behalf of UNTV, stated the reality the society is facing today, “There are people who cannot afford to go to school.” Hence, he underscored the significant role played by the transportable learning hub in meeting this basic need.
Earlier this year, DepEd- Cagayan de Oro Unit also gave honors to the Dunong-Gulong mobile school project for its groundbreaking campaign of giving free education to remote and far flung areas.
Dunong Gulong’s next stop is the Tacloban, a Visayan city seriously damaged by the Super typhoon Yolanda, impeding the schooling of some of the students in the region.
Apart from the Dunong-Gulong project, the MCGI and UNTV partnership also offers free elementary, secondary and tertiary education to hundreds of scholars through the La Verdad Christian School and College in both Apalit, Pampanga and Caloocan City, Metro Manila branches.
(Written by Emmy Borromeo)