House panel wants alternative learning system institutionalized

MANILA -- A measure seeking to institutionalize the alternative learning system (ALS) nationwide has hurdled the committee level at the House of Representatives.

According to a statement on Tuesday, the House committee on basic education has approved a substitute bill consolidating eight measures that aim to make education more accessible for out-of-school youth; persons with disabilities; indigenous peoples; and other marginalized sectors of society as well as underserved communities.

The ALS is a parallel learning system encompassing informal, non-formal, and indigenous as an alternative to the existing formal education. This is tailored for individuals that are constrained by time, physical, economic, and other factors, from attending the traditional classroom setting.

The bill seeks the establishment of at least one ALS Community Center in each municipality and city in the country and shall be placed in a conducive learning and accessible environment.

For the implementation of the ALS programs, the Department of Education (DepEd) may utilize learning modules which contain learning activities, and pre- and post-assessments.

Other supplementary materials like text and non-text modules, self-learning instructional materials, learning activity packages, online or digital modules, textbooks, e-modules or blended technology learning materials may also be used.

The DepEd shall be tasked to prescribe the number of session hours or days required for the completion of the ALS programs.

Those who complete the ALS are qualified to enroll in junior high school or senior high school education.

Apart from DepEd, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Department of Labor and Employment will also be mandated to promote technical vocational education and training programs and gainful employment opportunities for ALS passers.

Source: Philippine News Agency