Alternative Learning System (Philippines)
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The Alternative Learning System (ALS) is a ladderized, modular non-formal education program in the Philippines for dropouts in elementary and secondary schools, out-of-school youths, non-readers, working Filipinos and even senior citizens. It is part of the education system of the Philippines but an alternative to the regular classroom studies where Filipino students are required to attend daily. The alternative system only requires students to choose schedules according to their choice and availability.
The program has two different schematics for conducting instruction; school-based and community-based. On the school-based program, instructions are conducted in school campuses while in the community-based program, formal instruction are conducted in community halls or on private places. The ALS program follows a uniform lesson modules for all academic subjects covering the sciences, mathematics, English, Filipino, social studies, current events among others. Delivery of instructions are provided by government-paid instructors or by private non-government organization.
Aside from schematics, the program has two levels; elementary and secondary. Students have to start from elementary level, then proceed to high school level. If a student is a graduate of elementary under a formal classroom system, the student is automatically admitted to the secondary levels depending on which year level the student stopped schooling.
Program administration is held by the Department of Education, an agency of the government of the Philippines in charged in providing education to all Filipinos. Private non-government organization may deliver the program but still under the supervision of the Philippine education agency.
After finishing the curriculum, all participants of the program belonging to a particular education district are given the final comprehensive examinations covering all subject areas in the curriculum. Successful examinees are then grouped together in a closing ceremony where they given their certificate of completion either for the elementary or secondary level.
If a student has never reached the first grade, the student will be admitted in the Grade 1 level with the corresponding module of instruction given. The students have to finish all the modules for the first grade level and pass assessment test before proceeding to the next level. After successfully finishing all the modules, the students are given the comprehensive examinations prior to admission in the secondary level.
The procedure for the secondary level is the same as the elementary level. Once the student graduated in the secondary level, he or she may opt to enroll in the tertiary level without need for attending in the formal classroom system, hence the name alternative learning system. Normally, under the education system of the Philippines, no student is allowed to enter tertiary level of education without high school diploma. The alternative system is the other path and opportunity to access vocational technology or college education in the Philippines.
The program covers mostly dropouts in elementary and secondary schools, out-of-school youths, non-readers, working people and even senior citizens wanting to read and write. Students enrolled under the classroom system are barred from participating in the program. Age level, economic and personal circumstances are among the determinants in availing the program.
In comparison with formal education
The ALS evolved from the non-formal education that has been conducted by the government of the Philippines. Previously, non-formal education was mostly concentrated in instructions in livelihood skills training with basic reading and writing incorporated in the module. Under the current system, skills training and livelihood training have been excluded and established as a separate education system. Skills training had become a stand-alone program with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Philippines) taking charge of the program.
The ALS is a way for the informal and busy students to achieve elementary and high school education without need of going to attend classroom instructions on a daily basis just like the formal education system. Secondary education has now become a prerequisite in vocational technology and college education in the Philippines. Livelihood trainings, however, do not need formal or non-formal education in the Philippines.
- K–12 (education)
- Distance e-Learning in the Philippines
- Education in the Philippines
- Department of Education (Philippines)