Orphaned at a young age and afflicted by polio virus, Jay Caliboso, 40, knows life would become easier if only he has finished education.
But like the famous saying, “it is better to be late than never,” Caliboso is among the fresh enrollees for Grade 1 at the Amorosa Elementary School in this city.
As a farm caretaker of a relative in Mangato B who is now residing in Hawaii, Caliboso enjoys planting and selling vegetables. Since he never got a chance to enter school in his younger years, he could hardly identify money bills from buyers.
Often looked down by some people around him, Caliboso, a native of Abulug, Cagayan migrated to Laoag City to help tend at the farm of a relative.
With the help of relatives in Hawaii who pledged to support his studies, he decided to enroll in first grade this school year.
On the first day of classes, Joel Remigio, Principal of the Amarosa Elementary School welcomed its students as they cited Caliboso’s case as an “inspiration” among its younger peers.
Remigio said it is the first time that their school will have an enrollee like him, as he told other students to respect and treat him as “kuya” or a big brother of the class.
“Despite his age, we know he has the will to learn,” said Remigio saying they have assigned him to a highly competent teacher who is well trained enough to adopt to his situation.
Under the Accreditation and Equivalency Program of the Department of Education, Caliboso may later on take the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT), one of DepEd’s testing programs should he qualify for grade level acceleration.
In support of the government’s “Education for All” program, the equivalency test is being administered to students which is meant to retrieve out-of-school youth (OSY) and placing them in the formal school system if they so desire.
This is also one way of validating and accrediting knowledge and skills in academic areas gained through informal and non-formal means for re-entry into formal school, job promotion, entry to job training, for employment and self-fulfillment among others. Leilani Adriano/PNA/northboundasia.com