Most Frequently Asked Questions about

Most Frequently Asked
Questions about
Alternative Learning
System (ALS)
Go to the people
Live among the people
Eat with the people
Start with what the people know
Build on what the people have
Teach by knowing
Learn by doing,
Not to conform
But to transform
Not relief,
But release
What is alternative learning system or
It 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 nonformal
and informal sources of knowledge and
Why is there a need for alternative
learning system in the Philippines?
Many Filipinos do not have a chance to attend
and finish basic education (Grades 1-6 and Year
1-4) due to may reasons. Some drop out from
schools while some do not have schools in their
communities. Since every Filipino has a right to
free basic education, the Government set-up
ALS to provide all Filipinos the chance to have
access to and complete basic education in a
made that fits their distinct situations and needs.
What is the basis of ALS
implementation in the Philippines?
The 1987 Philippine Constitution provides for the
recognition and promotion of other forms of
education other than formal education. Article XIV,
Section 2, Paragraph (1) declares that the State
shall establish, maintain and support a complete,
adequate and integrated system of education
relevant to the needs of the people and society; and
paragraph (4) concisely encourages nonformal,
informal and indigenous learning systems as well as
self-learning, independent and out-of-school study
programs particularly those that respond to
community needs.
How does ALS work?
There are two major programs on ALS that
are being implemented by the Department of
Education. One is Basic Literacy Program
and Continuing Education ProgramAccreditation and Equivalency System. Both
programs are modular and flexible. This
means that learning can take place anytime
and any place, depending on the
convenience and availability of the learners.
What is the difference between the
Formal School System and the ALS?
ALS is flexible. It is an anytime, anywhere
learning. It uses interactive modules and
learning sessions are usually conducted at
community learning centers at an agreed
schedule between the learners and the
What is curriculum used in the ALS?
The teaching and learning process and
materials in the ALS are based on the
Alternative Learning System curriculum that
is comparable to the formal school
curriculum and reflects the set of skills and
competencies that learners should develop
to meet the minimum requirements of basic
Who are the target learners in the
ALS is intended for Out-of-School Youth and Adults who
are 16 years old or older and beyond basic school age that
need basic literacy skills particularly in reading. Writing and
simple computation.
These people are usually located in far-flung communities
with no or limited, access for formal schools.
In 2004, it was estimated that 16 million or 20% of the total
Philippine population were either school drop-outs or stay-outs.
This population is considered the target groups of the
alternative learning system. Presently, it is estimated that 12
million children of school-age are not in school which is about
the same number as those in-school.
The first priority of ALS are the 10.5 million 16
years old and above. Meanwhile, the aggregated
5.2 million target learners that are comprised of the
6-11 years old (1.8 million) and 12-15 (3.9 million)
years old are its second priority.
Specifically, this group of marginalized learners
consists of street children, indigenous peoples,
farmers, fisherfolks, women, adolescents, solo
parents, children in conflict areas not reached by
the formal school system, rebel returnees, and
Who delivers the ALS?
ALS is either DepEd-delivered or DepEd
procured . Other than DepEd, many organizations
and individuals deliver the ALS. This program
delivery is called Non-DepEd.
DepEd-delivered refers to the implementation
arrangement where program is directly carriedout by DepEd ALS implementers such as the ALS
Mobile Teachers and ALS District Coordinators.
DepEd-procured refers to the implementation
arrangement where program is contracted by
DepEd to service providers such as nongovernment organizations and other government
Non-DepEd refers to the implementation of ALS
Programs by non-DepEd organizations such as
Local Government Units (LGUs). Non-Government
Organizations (NGOs) and other Government
Organizations (GOs). International donor agencies,
church-based organizations and others.
How does learning intervention take
place in ALS?
The ALS Mobile Teacher or a learning facilitator goes to a
sitio or barangay with a set of learning materials to conduct
learning sessions until such time that the learners have
become literate before going to another sitio or barangay.
However, depending on the need of the learners, the ALS
Mobile Teacher goes back to a sitio or barangay for visitation
and follow up.
Most of the time, instead of the learners going to the
community learning center, the ALS Mobile Teachers brings the
learning materials to the learners to help them acquire basic
literacy skills or continuing education.
Where do learning sessions take
Learning sessions take place at the
Community Learning Center or at any place
convenient to the learners. Teaching and
learning may take place at the homes of the
learners, under the shades of trees, inside a
church or mosque, playground and any other
available space and venue.
What materials are used in the ALS?
The ALS utilizes learning modules. Each modules is complete in
itself. It contains the objectives and description of the module,
learning activities, pre and post test. Modules for the basic and
lower elementary learners come with a facilitator’s guide.
Meanwhile, modules for advanced elementary and secondary
were designed for self-learning.
In the conduct of ALS sessions, use of supplementary learning
materials is being encouraged particularly those that are
developed by the Facilitator to suit the local need and context
and are locally available.
In partnership with various organizations, both local and
international, the DepEd-BALS was able to adapt and or
produce print and non-print learning materials to supplement
the existing modules in the conduct of ALS learning sessions.
Supplementary materials are important in the conduct of ALS
learning sessions. Additional materials make learning sessions
more effective by reinforcing newly acquired literacy skills. They
also serve as springboards to a new lesson, thus, making
learning more fun and interesting. Use of multi-media also gives
both Facilitators and learners chance to access new information
and technology and activates multi-sensory learning.
What are the areas of learning in the
The learning areas in the ALS are called learning strands which are the
equivalent of the “subjects” in the formal school system.
These learning strands are:
Communication skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing)
Problem-solving and critical thinking (ability to earn a living through
self employment, outside employment, entrepreneurship, sustainable
use of resources and appropriate technology and productivity)
Development of self and a sense of community (self-development, a
sense of personal and national history and identity, cultural pride and
recognition and understanding of civil and political rights.
Expanding one’s world vision (knowledge, respect and appreciation
for diversity, peace and non-violent resolution of conflict, and global
awareness and solidarity)
Is there an entrance test in the ALS?
The potential learner in the ALS goes through a screening
process to determine whatever past learning that he/she may
have. This assessment will assist the Learning Facilitator to setup a teaching and learning plan for a particular learner.
The DepED-BALS developed on instrument this process
of assessment called the Functional Literacy Test (FLT). This
FLT is a new version developed in 2006 to standardized
assessment instruments in all ALS programs. The new FLT
gives the entry assessment in the ALS programs a new picture
The new FLT is composed of five (5) parts. These are 1)
The Demographic Information Sheet (DIS), 2) Listening and
Speaking, 3) Reading 4) Writing, and 5) Numeracy.
What is the difference between
nonformal education and informal
To reach this marginalized group of learners, BALS
implements nonformal and informal education or education that
takes place outside the formal school system.
Republic Act 9155 defines Nonformal Education as “any
organized, systematic educational activity carried outside the
framework of the formal system to provide selected types of
learning of a segment of the population”.
On the other hand, Informal Education is defined as “a
lifelong process of learning by which every person acquires and
accumulates knowledge, skills, attitudes and insights from daily
experiences at home, at work, at play and from life itself:”
BALS carries out two Nonformal Education
Basic Literacy Program (BLP) for illiterates
Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) System for elementary
and high school drop-outs.
BALS is currently setting up the Informal Education
Curriculum that will include self-interest and life experiences
programs. Initially, it has already developed a special
curriculum for indigenous people (IPs). With this construct,
greater learning needs will be addressed and funneled to
promote lifelong learning in all streams of education.