The Puerto Princesa City Jail (PPCJ) has started offering for the first time “Basic Literacy” classes for persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who wish to learn reading and writing skills.
Twenty-two inmates of the PPCJ started their classes Sunday at the city jail. The PPCJ management initiated the basic literacy classes to teach interested inmates to read and write and enhance their learning while the detention facility is still on “absolute lockdown”.
J/SInsp. Irene Gaspar, jail warden, told Palawan News it was what they had initiated to make use of the time where they are still in absolute lockdown to teach untutored inmates that will be rendered by some teacher jail officers.
“Meron kaming mga BJMP personnel na teacher talaga bago pumasok sa BJMP. In-encourage ko sila, lalo na ngayon naka-lockdown kami, in-identify namin ‘yong mga hindi talaga marunong magbasa at magsulat,”
Gaspar said that they will extend extra effort and time for the first 22 inmates who are now enrolled in reading and writing skills programs after they have identified that majority of them could only read and write their names.
“Itong grupo na ito, tututukan talaga namin, parang tutorial ang mangyayari, kasi nga sila totally hindi marunong magbasa at magsulat, majority sa kanila, kung meron sa kanila na nakakasulat ay ‘yong pangalan lang mismo nila, sa age nila may nakita kaming 76-years-old, tinanong namin kung napipilitan ba siya — sabi niya hindi at talagang gusto niya at ‘yong pinakabata 20-years-old,” she said.
Gaspar said that in their first session, they have conditioned the inmates and have asked them their reasons for joining the program.
“Noong first day na session namin, ang ginawa muna namin, parang conditioning muna tapos tinanong naming kung willing ba sila, ano ‘yong dahilan nila kung bakit sila sumali sa programa, ayon nagkwento naman sila. Meron nga na nagkwento na ‘yong anak niya nagpapaturo sa assignment o ano, e siya mismo hindi marunong ang ginagawa niya lagi siyang nag-i-skip kunwari busy o may gagawin pero ang totoo, nahihiya siya kasi siya mismo hindi marunong magbasa at magsulat may mga ganoong kwento may iba naman na wala talaga silang kakayahan mag-aral kasi marami silang magkakapatid,” Gaspar said.
The management has also coordinated with the Alternative Learning System (ALS) for support and guidance for the conduct of the program.
“In coordination din po yan sa ALS, kino-ordinate namin para makapag-support din sila sa amin, halimbawa school supplies o mga ABAKADA, para masuportahan din kami, mga lapis mga ganyan, nanghingi lang kami ng guidance sa kanila,” she said.
Gaspar hopes that at the end of the session, the inmates would learn how to read even their release papers if they can already go home or be released from jail.
“Sabi ko nga kahit matuto lang sila magbasa, kung makalaya man kayo, makapirma man lang sa release paper, nababasa talaga nila,” She said.
The classes are scheduled 2-3 hours daily and starts at 7:00 in the evening.