05212024.Web.Banner Xavier Ateneo News

By Ismael B Salarda, Director, Arrupe Educational Center

On 14 June 2024, the Xavier Ateneo Night School Program-Alternative Learning System (NSP-ALS) celebrated its 7th commencement exercises, a momentous event marking the achievements of 38 determined and resilient learners. Among these graduates, 10 learners successfully completed their elementary education, while 28 advanced to complete their junior high school studies.

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The commencement ceremony was graced by Mr Jerome L Torres, the Vocational SchoolThe commencement ceremony was graced by Mr Jerome L Torres, the Vocational School Administrator at the Technical Skills Technology Institute of the City College of Cagayan de Oro. As the founder of the XU Night School Program-ALS, Mr Torres's presence and words held special significance, inspiring the graduates with his journey and dedication to education.

In his speech, Mr Torres reflected on the significance of the occasion, saying, "Dear completers, throughout the trials of life, you have consistently chosen hope over despair, courage over fear. In times of uncertainty, you have demonstrated remarkable resilience. You stand here today as victors, showcasing that education is not a privilege for a select few, but a fundamental right that empowers and transforms communities. As you move forward into the next chapter of your lives, hold on to the lessons you've learned, the friendships you've made, and the dreams that inspire you. The road ahead may be challenging, but with the same determination and resilience that brought you here, you will be able to overcome any obstacle that comes your way.”

The ceremony was also attended by distinguished guests who have played pivotal roles in supporting and advancing the NSP-ALS initiative. Among them were Dr Federico P Martin, CESO V, the Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Education Region 10; Dr Ray Butch Mahinay, Vice President for Academics at the City College of Cagayan de Oro and former Education Program Specialist for ALS in DepEd Region 10; Ms Norhidaya Hadji Sarip from the Oro Response and Processing Section; and Mr Johnril Generoso, a DepEd ALS teacher at the City Central District.

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Other notable attendees included Mr Thomas Kellenberger, Founder of the Philippine Island Kids International Organization; Ms Esther Buehlmann of the Streetlight Foundation; Atty Ernesto Neri of the Xavier Center for Legal Assistance; Ms Keziah Mallorca of the Social Involvement and Advocacy Program; and Ms Akima Abas from the City College of Cagayan de Oro City.

Dr Federico P Martin lauded the graduates for their perseverance, stating, "Today, we celebrate not just the achievements of our completers, but the collective effort of a community that believes in the power of education to transform lives. The success of these learners is a testament to their determination and the unwavering support from their families, educators, and the broader community."

The Xavier Ateneo Night School Program-ALS continues to stand as a beacon of hope and opportunity for out-of-school youth and adults, providing them with the chance to pursue their educational dreams despite life's challenges. As these 38 learners move forward, they carry with them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to make meaningful contributions to their communities and beyond.

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This commencement ceremony is a reminder of the transformative power of education and the impact it has on individuals and society as a whole. The Xavier Ateneo NSP-ALS remains committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive learning environment, ensuring that every learner has the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential.