The Balik-Aral Program (BAP) formed its first Student Council (SC) following its election on Wednesday, October 18. The program will also soon have its first Student Handbook this academic year (AY) 2017-2018 to serve as guidelines to the BAP students, according to newly-appointed BAP coordinator Dr. Frank Villanueva.
Overseen by the Professional Educators Department of the College of Education (COEd), the BAP is a special curriculum program that provides 10-month education for out-of-school students as part of the Department of Education (DepEd)’s Alternative Learning System (ALS).
Photo courtesy of Dr. Frank Villanueva
Villanueva said that the volunteer-nature of BAP urged him to establish a SC for more efficient operations.
The College of Education-administered BAP is facilitated by volunteer teachers, students, and staff with only one employee at hand—Villanueva.
“We need to really have a kind of a structure and organization for a better operation considering Balik-Aral has no personnel of its own so these are all voluntary personnel. . . So wala ako[ng] staff kundi ako lang diyan ang program coordinator,” Villanueva said.
He furthered that the creation of an SC intends to encourage BAP students to not to be beneficiaries of DLSU-D, but also contributors for the campus and its students.
The BAP SC is comprised of the following: President, Secretary, Treasurer, Public Relations Officer, and class representatives. Moreover, four committees will be formed under the SC, which are the Wellness Committee, Outreach Committee, Kinesthetics Committee, and Evangelization Committee, inspired by the acronym “WOKE,” according to Villanueva.
The four sections in the BAP, which has three sections in the junior high school level and one section in the elementary level, elected five officers to be nominated in the SC. The 20 officers elected and then voted amongst themselves to determine the lineup of SC officers.
After the election, the SC members underwent induction of officers, oath taking, and will formally assume office next week.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Frank Villanueva
Aside from a student council, Villanueva plans to create a student handbook, stemming from the intention to have a set of guidelines for the BAP students.
COEd Dean, Dr. Paterno S. Alcartado added that the handbook is a project of the college and added that the BAP handbook will serve as guidelines for the BAP students who are considered “unofficial” students of DLSU-D. Villanueva clarified that the DLSU-D Student Handbook doesn’t cover the BAP students, but the BAP has been temporarily using the handbook given they are yet to have one of their own.
“At this point in time, we need to really have our own student handbook because of the many cases that had been happening with our students at least it should be clear to them that there are guidelines to be followed para at least masabi nilang sariling atin,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva said he will pattern the BAP student handbook with the Junior High School (JHS) handbook, which is in its approval stage as of press time. Once the JHS handbook is released, Villanueva said he will create the initial draft of the handbook to be checked by the BAP volunteers, SC members, and COEd Dean Dr. Alcartado for finalization.
Upon asking why the BAP only considered to build its own Student Council and Student Handbook this semester, Villanueva explained given that BAP is a program directed by DepEd’s ALS program, there is a possibility that the creation Student Council and the Student Handbook weren’t prioritized by previous BAP overseers as instructions for the program directly come from DepEd.
“Maybe during those (previous) times, hindi ito nabigyan ng pansin kasi lahat ng mga instructions are directly coming from the DepEd people,” Villanueva explained.
Although there are no exact dates yet, Villanueva said he plans to finalize the Student Handbook before his term as the BAP coordinator ends by the end of the academic year 2017-2018.
Upon the establishment of the SC and Student Handbook, Villanueva, who has revealed the frequent absences of some of the BAP students in class, said he expects the students to be more involved and attend the programs daily through activities that will encourage student participation.
Aside from the handbook, Villanueva is also planning to create the first manual for volunteer BAP teachers.
Meanwhile, Villanueva asked the Lasallian community for their support for BAP through volunteerism for the program, especially in teaching.
“I’d like to tell the community that this program that we had been through is really a noble program of the school. It should be supported, it should be recognized, and maybe faculty and staff could be invited also participate and get involved in this program,” Villanueva said.
With 166 students currently registered, BAP is anticipating to offer the Senior High Level sometime soon.