90-year-old great-grandfather finally graduates from high school in Philippines

Mr Jose Gaitan Gandecela’s education had been sidelined due to World War II. He began attending classes again last year and passed his test with a score of 81.6 per cent.PHOTO: THE INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

THE INQUIRER/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK – It was in March 1941 when Jose Gaitan Gandecela graduated from A. Marisol Elementary School in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

He was all set for continued studies – until the flames of World War II spread to the Asia-Pacific region in December that year.

His academics sidelined for 77 years, Mr Gandecela finally got to finish junior high school on Nov 17 this year, earning a certificate he can frame and proudly hang on his wall.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has confirmed that 90-year-old “Tatay Jose” was the oldest person to pass the accreditation and equivalency (A&E) test under the Alternative Learning System (ALS), the DepEd programme that provides an option for those who could not obtain formal education through regular attendance in schools.

Mr Gandecela went to an ALS class from January to October 2017 and took the A&E test on March 11 this year. With a score of 81.60 per cent – well above the overall passing percentage score of 60 per cent – he received a Certificate of Rating from the DepEd’s Bureau of Education Assessment.

The certificate states that he has met the basic requirements for Grade 10 and is now qualified for senior high school “subject to the admission policies of the accepting institution”. The document serves as the equivalent of a report card under the formal school system.

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