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SETBI and Department of Education sign memorandum for High School in College Education Behind Bars

Formerly only dreamt about, the idea of putting college classes incorporated with a recovery program is being fulfilled now. The sapling has now all grown into a large tree. The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor),  the Social Entrepreneurship Technology and Business Institute (SETBI), and the Department of Education ( DepEd) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to offer Senior High School inside College Education Behind Bars (CEBB). In 2019, SETBI had signed a memorandum of agreement with the BuCor to extend its education program to the Bureau. In April SETBI is set to open in its CEBB Campus in a new building inside the Davao Prison and Penal Farm (DPPF) in Davao del Norte. “Education is vital for the overall development of inmates. As a matter of fact, education is in itself what rehabilitation in correctional facilities is all about.  Through education your outlook, habits, and total perspective on life can be changed,“ SETBI president and founder, Dr. Aland Mizell, said in a statement on Friday March 1, 2024. This extension of programs to include the high school diploma prepares DPL to enter the college track.

Dr. Mizell in his message said prison is a tough place that asks the PDL only for survival. It is neither designed for reform nor for rehabilitation. Having education, particularly higher education, in prison presents obstacles in every direction. But obstacles do not mean defeat. Prison can be a defining moment in a man’s life, but not the definition of the man. Our society requires that some be sentenced to prison but sooner or later many will be free to return to society. We must ask if that will that be a one-way trip. Will each of PDL leave the prison never to return? Statistics are stacked against them when they reenter society, and most of them find themselves back in, primarily because of unemployment. On the outside they need a job to support their families, to succeed, and to handle freedom. But jobs are hard to find when they carry a prison record; however, they can overcome that stigma with quality education, solid training, and a recovery program to transform their lives, Working at class assignments gives them a purpose in life, a focus, and the deep satisfaction of seeing hard work led to positive results. Adding the high school track to the CEBB through this Memorandum of Agreement helps prepare as many inmates as possible to return to society as productive law abiding citizens.

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