Alternative Learning System in the Philippines
How It Is Implemented
Mrs. Emily J. Ruivivar
WHAT IS ALS?
ALS stands for ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SYSTEM which is a free education program implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) under the Bureau of Alternative Education (BALS). It aims to benefit those who cannot afford formal schooling and follows whatever is the available schedule of the learners. The program follows a viable alternative to the existing formal education instruction, encompassing both the non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.
WHAT IS ITS OBJECTIVE?
ALS aims to open more educational opportunities for Filipino citizens of different interests, capabilities of demographic characteristics, socio-economic origins and status as well as addressing the needs of the marginalized group. The program cuts the time to finish high school, hence, significantly cuts the expenses as well.
WHAT ARE ITS LEGAL BASES?
The 1987 Philippine Constitution provides for the recognition and promotion of other forms of education other than the formal education. Article 4, Sec.2, par.1, states that, “The state shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make education accessible to all.”
Paragraph 4 concisely encourages non-formal, informal and indigenous learning systems, as well as self- learning, independent and out-of-school study programs particularly those that respond to community needs.
Republic Act 9155 or the Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001, Republic Act 6655 or the Free Secondary Education Act both reaffirm the policy of the state to protect and promote the rights of all Filipinos by providing children free and compulsory education in the elementary and high school level. This pertains to six years free tuition for children aged 6-11, and free four years of secondary schooling for those aged 12-15.
Executive Order 117 of 1987, decreed the creation of Bureau of Non-Formal Education (BNFE). The Bureau focused on teaching-learning in non-formal settings for the marginalized sectors. Sec. 5- prescribed the powers and functions of the organized Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (signed by Pres. Corazon Aquino) to implement and coordinate the policies, plans, programs, and projects for non-formal and vocational/ technical kinds of education.
The Governance Act for Basic Education (RA 9155) stipulates the establishment of ALS to provide out-of-school children, youth and adult population with basic education. Section 12 stipulates that the alternative learning system is a parallel learning system to provide a viable alternative to the existing formal education instruction encompassing both the non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.
Executive Order No. 356 of 2004 – Renaming the Bureau of Non-Formal Education (BNFE) to Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS) of the Department of Education in its present form.
Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA) was formed by DepEd in 2006. It is a comprehensive package of policy reforms that are expected to create critical changes to accelerate, broaden, deepen and sustain improvement of basic education in the country.
It also formulated the corresponding necessary guidelines to strengthen BALS as an institution entrusted to steward the development of ALS in the Philippines and address the national goal of universal access to quality education.
WHAT ARE THE PROGRAMS UNDER ALS?
Basic Literacy Program (ALS-BLP)
Accreditation and Equivalency Program (ALS-A&E)
Balik-Paaralan Para Sa Out-of-School Adults Program (ALS- BP-OSA) 4.
Informal Education (INFED)
Indigenous People’s Education (IP)
Family Basic Literacy Program (FBLP)
ALS Gabay-Aral sa Pamayanan (AGAP)
ALS for Person with Disability (AS-PWD)
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