In a courtesy call requested by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to Bicol University (BU), as its Higher Education Institution (HEI) partner, the Higher Education or Training Readiness Orientation (HERO) Program and the ongoing research grant the university is undertaking was further discussed on October 17, 2022.
Through the USAID’s Opportunity 2.0, Bicol University has partnered with USAID to give a second-chance education to OSY as well as beneficiaries of the Alternative Learning System (ALS). On March 2022, BU entered an agreement with USAID to deliver the HERO program through the university’s National Service Training Program (NSTP). Currently, 35 student volunteers were trained resulting to 90 ALS completers. To sustain these efforts, BU established a brand-new student group called the “National Service Reserve Corps (NSRC),” with the purpose of expanding HERO to more parts of the city.
USAID continued the project by funding a research proposed by the university that traces DepEd ALS Completers in the city to assess their chances of continuing education, as well as to identify the right skills training and programs they may need to succeed in the workplace or as entrepreneurs. During the meeting, the BU NSRC Group was launched wherein some student volunteers and ALS Learners also shared their experiences.
BU has been a steadfast advocate of out-of-school youth projects in the city. The university is one of the founding members of the Legazpi City Youth Development Alliance established in 2020 along with the USAID support. | by Arnold C. Noda, CPRO