The Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Dynamic Teen Company (DTC) recently led a simple “moving up” ceremony for over 1,000 of Metro Manila street children who have successfully completed the Kariton Klasrum program and are now ready for regular school.
Originally developed by DTC’s Efren Peñaflorida, Jr., Kariton Klasrum’s education-on-wheels concept was expanded by DepEd to areas outside of Cavite, where it was originally deployed.
The Kariton Klasrum provides street children, out-of-school children, and school dropouts aged five to 14 years old with easier access to education. After six months, learners are assessed for school-readiness, before eventually being reintegrated into regular schools or the Alternative Learning System (ALS).
Partner private-sector corporations, local government units, other government agencies and private individuals have also helped in the replication of Kariton Klasrums by providing either the pushcart classrooms, learning materials, school meals, or hygiene and first aid kits.
“You cannot box in all students into classrooms. Sometimes, you have to bring the classrooms to them,” DepEd Secretary Br. Armin Luistro, FSC emphasized. “DepEd has brought the classrooms to the streets where the kids are. It’s our turn to walk the streets and learn outside the classroom,” Luistro added.
DepEd Undersecretary for Partnerships and External Linkages Mario A. Deriquito pointed out that there are currently over 50 Kariton Klasrum sites in Metro Manila with over 1,600 children enrolled in the program. “DepEd aims to provide a higher level of education to every Filipino. All children who should be able to study will be given the opportunity,” Deriquito said.
DTC’s Efren Peñaflorida, Jr. shared four important lessons to the kids based from his own experiences. “One is never too poor to think of ways to help each other. One is never too young to give back to society. We are never too strong to do things on our own. You are never too ordinary to be a hero,” he empathically shared to the kids.
On the other hand, DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman said “Continue your dream of being able to study under the K to 12 program. The government and the private sector are ready to help you.”
Meanwhile, Luistro called on the Schools Division Superintendents of Metro Manila to make sure that the Kariton Klasrum learners who will be accepted to public schools will not be left behind. (DepEd)