Being an Non-formal Education (NFE) worker, what ever level of service it may be, can cause quite varied arguments on its pros and cons. The issue remains to be viewed by every Non-formal Education (NFE) personnel or implementor. At this point in time, it seems fitting and proper to weigh which side can be convincing – should an NFE servant stay put in NFE or shift to the permanent traditional educational schooling system.
The debate can be very timely in this critical period of transformation of our nation. Stay put in NFE service or shift to the formal service – each has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, making a deeper analysis of the present social status of our nation, NFE mentors and workers truly deserve some sort of evaluating and focusing on the advantages each educational system endows to the upliftment of our country’s immediate development needs.
What the die-hard Non-formal Education workers enjoy nowadays is debatable, but the positive speedy effects of their services seem undebatable. Why?
- The increasing school dropouts year after year need the most prompt rescue before they retrogress and fall into the abyss of ignorance and illiteracy. These bring forth increase too in nonproductive and poor citizens who suffer rather than enjoy well the blessings of improved family living.
- The number of illiterates or persons void of literacy skills who cannot cope with the demands of our constantly changing society deserve short term training periods for their immediate adjustment to socioeconomic needs. Non-formal Education provides the answers to every client’s family needs and satisfaction.
- A great number of unskilled, unemployed adults and a greater number of working children are abused by selfish employers who take advantage of them giving them unfair and unsatisfactory labor compensation and benefits. This usually exposes their victims to untoward reactions or activities detrimental to society itself. Non-formal Education prepares these people for chances to become skilled employees.
- The swelling bulk of underemployed adults turn to the non-formal or informal educational ventures of the national government for quicker chances of skills training to get lucky in landing jobs or for self-generating income providers after their training. Thus NFE usually answers their immediate need for income generating family projects. A lot of clients have elevated their status by way of these NFE programs/projects. Most of this group tend to go to POEA for work/job opportunities abroad.
The collective group of the above-cited citizens must be checked/suppressed. If not, more will grope back in the dark to suffer consequences of ignorance and illiteracy adding to the liabilities and not assets of our developing country. The NFE worker is a must to curtail these unproductivity back setters.
If we NFE servants show more concern for these people, the direct effect of literate and productive clientele will give us the best insurance of reaping fruits of progress and development of these people.
For the dedicated NFE mentors/workers, theirs is a litany of unsung triumphs over obstacles which fruitfully pushed most of their learners from rags to riches. Theirs are toil of love and sacrifices or self-fulfillment of job well done and some of the lucky ones get elected to posts in their local government.
True joy in the non-formal service comes simultaneously with the challenging needs of those in the unreached disadvantaged natives or tribes too. More obstacles and deterrents to reach the needy tribes thrill every dedicated Non-formal Education worker who audaciously publishes the learner’s victory or success.
Many NFE coordinators in the distant districts of Region IV enjoin para-teachers and NGOs to provide access to education for the minority community dwellers. Though crude life styles persist, a lot of their topless learners had clothed their tribes already and turned hygiene-conscious. It is a blessed job to cause changes in others’ crude ways, is it not? The nomadic tendencies of the descendants of our aborigines are modified these days. They practice erecting makeshift homes and do crude farming now. Of course, development is a slow process. What we foresee is to have them engaged soon in crafts using modern tools and do hi-tech farming to enjoy modern living.
If this is a dream now, then let Non-formal Education workers achieve the NFE goal so this dream will come true. Who knows that the published legal item for full time NFE coordinators allowing one for every district might commit NFE workers to stay put for the joy and bliss of NFE service. It is a promise of good work!
Courtesy: Marcelina C. Parcasio / ES II, SPED, DESCRO-IV