Last February 20, the Davao del Norte State College (DNSC) and the Social Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Business Institute (SETBI) sealed its partnership with a Memorandum of Agreement for the College Education Behind Bars.
Signed by SETBI President Dr. Aland Mizell, SETBI Vice President Atty. Susan Cariaga and DNSC President Dr. Joy M. Sorrosa with DNSC Vice President for Academic and Research Girley S. Gumanao, the College Education Behind Bars is set to bring opportunities for education to People Deprived of Liberty (PDL).
“We have commonality on purpose and aspiration for a drug free Philippines,” DNSC President Sorrosa stated.
“We strongly believe that the drug problem is a social problem and is therefore everybody’s problem. This means that everybody has a responsibility and a role to play in addressing this challenge. PDL ‘s re-entry begin at the point of their entry into the Prison. And an effective rehabilitation program should be in placed before PDL’s transition from custody to into society and begin their new lives,” said Dr. Mizell.
“This is what we believe at the College Education Behind Bars. Not only do we ensure that PDL serve their sentences in a safe, secure setting but also to return them to their communities and families as restored, reformed, rehabilitated, and law abiding citizens. We have been committed to changing lives, one inmate, and one day, at a time. A variety of opportunities and outlets are devoted to the pre-release process at the College Education Behind Bars. This includes four-year college degree; recovery programs, Senior High Schools degree, Vocational Training, faith-based courses, and life skills development. These opportunities help prepare the PDL for long term success,” he added.
SETBI is already running a college program in partnership with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP). It has successfully launched the CEBB in 2016, the first of its kind in the Philippines and Asia to provide college education Behind Bars and constructed a College campus inside the Davao City Jail.
In October 2017, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with SETBI for the possible nationwide expansion of the CEBB Program.
College Education Behind Bars currently offer following programs:
1. Four-year Degree College Education through USEP
2. Recovery Program, inside and outside
3. Senior High Program
4. Vocational and Technical Program
5. Transition, Reentry, and Ready for Work Program
Four-Year Degree College Education through USEP / DNSC
a. Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science (4 years)
b. Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business (4 years)
c. Bachelor of Science in Food Technology (4 years)
d. Bachelor of Science in Social Entrepreneurship (4 years)
PDL students will study the curricula in the university, read the same text books, get the same assignments and complete the equivalent college level assignment as the ’outside’. When PDL students graduate, they will receive a diploma from the USEP or DNSC for having completed its college program. The only difference is that USeP / DNSC professors will travel to the College Education Behind Bars inside Jail or Prison.
Before students enroll in the program, the educational professionals will assess and screen detainees for basic literacy and readiness for college and will document their grade level, vocational assessment needs, length of sentence, and security clearance. SETBI currently administers a college program in partnership with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and the University of Southeastern Philippines.
Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan is a teacher at Tuburan Institute, Inc. She is also a wife and a mother of two. For questions and comments, feel free to drop her an e-mail at email@example.com or visit her Facebook page, Joan Mae Soco.
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