EDUCATION. Pangasinan State University president Dexter Buted (middle) in a press conference on July 22, 2022. Buted was with the vice presidents of the university. (PNA file photo)

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The Pangasinan State University (PSU) launched on Tuesday a program to help the out-of-school youths (OSYs) in the province to go back to school and finish their degree.
In her speech, PSU’s Student and Alumni Affairs director professor Celeste Mercado said the program called “Abot Kamay ang Kolehiyo Isang Bayanihan para sa mga OSYs” in Pangasinan (AKKBAY) aims to provide free, accessible, and quality education, and support services to OSYs who will enroll in PSU.
Mercado said the program has four components including education with financial assistance, psychosocial intervention, health and medical services, and skills development.
“Under the education with financial assistance, OSYs will be preferentially admitted in the school with the degree program they are qualified to enroll in. We will provide allowance and packages for their financial needs,” she said.
For psychosocial intervention, the PSU will provide psychosocial aid and counseling for OSYS and their parents to cope with stress while learning, while assistance shelter will be provided to completely neglected and abandoned OSYs, she added.
“Under health and medical services, we will ensure that the OSYs are healthy and able to learn. We will provide primary preventive medical care, consultation, and treatments,” Mercado said.
For skills development, the OSYs will be trained in leadership, computer literacy, sports, arts, and how to do these things in their lives, she said.
Meanwhile, PSU president Dr. Dexter Buted encouraged the Sangguniang Panlalawigan board members to pass an ordinance in support of the AKKBAY program.
Maipasa ang ordinansa at maibahagi ito sa mga local government units (LGUs). Maglaan ng pondo para magkaroon financial assistance sa mga papasok sa school para mapalago at pagsikapan na bawasan bilang ng OSYs (We hope they will pass an ordinance and it will be adopted by the LGUs. Allot funds for the financial assistance for those who will enroll in the school so they will progress and reduce the number of OSYs),” Buted said.
Jemuel Consuelo, an OSY from Anda town, Pangasinan, said he is excited about the implementation of the program as he wants to finish his college degree. (PNA)