Alternative Learning System (Philippines)
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The Alternative Learning System is a parallel learning system in the Philippines that provides a practical option to the existing formal instruction. When one does not have or cannot access formal education in schools, ALS is an alternate or substitute. ALS includes both the non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.
The Alternative Learning System only requires learners to attend learning sessions based on the agreed schedule between the learners and the learning facilitators.
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 charge of 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 program, learners are then assessed by their learning facilitators, and if they are ready, they are given the accreditation and equivalency (A&E) test covering all learning strands in the ALS curriculum. Successful examinees are then given certificates equivalent to a diploma in the formal school for the elementary or secondary level. ALS officials and implementers may opt to conduct a "graduation" ceremony to indicate that learners have successfully finished the program.
If a learner have not finished his elementary schooling, he/she may be admitted to the program. he will have to go through a Functional Literacy Test (FLT) in order for the learning facilitator to identify the level of literacy. Learning modules will be suggested to be them focus relative to the result of their FLT and interest. The learner will then be guided to accomplish an Individual Learning Agreement (ILA). This ILA will be their (learner and facilitator) basis in tracking the progress and competencies developed within the learners.
Once they pass their examination, the learner may enroll the college.
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)