Alternative Learning System in the Philippines

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PHILIPPINE Alternative Learning System (ALS) A&E
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The Alternative Learning System (ALS) is a free education program implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) under the Bureau of Alternative Learning System which benefits those who cannot afford formal schooling and follows whatever is their available schedule. The program provides a viable alternative to the existing formal education instruction, encompassing both the non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.

How does it work  In ALS, students have to attend 10 months of school or 800 hours in the classroom. Then their performance are then assessed. 

Since ALS is a module-based learning system, students come in on a set time and choose a module to read. A quiz is given after each module to test their learning. Instead of teachers, facilitators are always present to answer any questions and sometimes lecturers would discuss a certain module. After several months, the students will take the Accreditation and Equivalency Test (AET). If they pass the test, they will be given a high school diploma and can now enroll in college.  Manny Pacquiao took and passed the (AET) under the ALS program. He was presented a high school diploma, making eligible to pursue college.  After getting a certificate upon passing, the students have the option to enroll in ALS again or go to a college.  “I have learners who are maids, fishermen, and babysitters, and a saleslady,”

In fact, they do not even have to go to class five times a week to finish high school. Participants of eSkwela just sit in front of a computer for about three hours a week. They learn according to their need and speed.  The eSkwela has five main learning strands: Communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving, sustainable use of resources and productivity, development of self and a sense of community, and expanding one’s world vision. Each student in every session uses a computer loaded with digital modules with videos and animation. A teacher –called facilitator – helps students navigate the digital modules and monitors his/her progress to determine if the learner is ready for the A&E.

There are two ways in which you can take the Alternative Learning System, through the modules (and just months of classroom preparation for the test?) and through the Internet (with also just months of classroom with the computers as preparation for the test). For more information about the latter: The latter is called the eSkwela project - the computer-based way of taking the ALS - but I've read that there are no elementary e-modules yet, so the eSkwela for elementary school solely is not yet available.

For out-of-school youth and adults interested to complete their secondary education (Accreditation and Equivalency) through eSkwela

1. Is eSkwela separate from DepED’s Alternative Learning System (ALS), and its Accreditation & Equivalency (A&E) program?  Get a copy of the CD to do self learning at home where he can get a copy of the CD. Once he was at the Center, Angelyn Malabanan, an eSkwela learning facilitator, was generous enough to provide him not only a copy of the CD but also a walk-through on how ALS sessions are conducted there, albeit with a technological twist.

No, eSkwela is not separate from DepED-ALS. The difference mainly lies in the mode of ALS delivery; at an eSkwela Center, ICTs (electronic modules, Learning Management System, module guides, computers, Internet/World Wide Web) are utilized to deliver ALS. On the other hand, print modules are used in the traditional ALS. However, they uphold the same set of learning ideals (learning that is self-paced, project-based, and learner-centered; life skills approach). Learners from both delivery modes (traditional ALS and eSkwela) may aspire to take the A&E exam; upon passing this exam, the learner will be given an A&E certificate of completion, equivalent to a high school diploma.

2. How do I...
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