• It is a parallel of 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 alternative or substitute. ALS includes both the nonformal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.
  • Many Filipinos do not have a chance to attend and finish basic education (Grade 1-6 and Year 1-4) due to many 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 mode that fits their distinct situations and needs.
  • The 1987 Philippines Constitution provides for the recognition and promotion of others forms of education other then 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 an society; and paragraph (4) concisely encourage nonformal, informal and indigenous learning system as well as self-learning, independent and out-of-school study programs particularly those that respond to community needs.
  • The Governance ACT for Basic Education otherwise known as the Rebuplic Act 9155 stipulates the establishment of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) to provide out-of –school children, youth and adults population with basic education.
  • ALS contributes to solve the problems of illiteracy among children, youth and adults.       It also help solve school drop-out rates.
  • There are two major programs on ALS that are being implemented by Department of Education. One is Non-Formal Education which is composed of sub-programs: Basic Literacy Program and Continuing Education Program-Accreditation and Equivalency System. The second major program is Informal Education. Both programs are modular & flexible. This means that learning can take place anytime and anyplace, depending on the convenience, availability, skills needs and interests of the learners.
  • The ALS provides opportunities for individuals to develop themselves as functional members of the community and for the community itself to become self-reliant.

For  the learners –

  • absolutely no fees, only commitment and determination to learn are necessary.
  • flexible learning – self paced
  • multiple entries and exits increased access to learning resources and materials
  • acquisition of basic life skills

For  others who have a stake on ALS –

  • opportunity to take part in community development activities
  • professional growth
  • linkage with other organizations and agencies.


  • 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 facilitator.
  • Visit the nearest DepEd District and/or Division Office for information about the existing ALS learning sessions in the area. DepEd schools can also provide information about 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 education.
  • 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 to formal schools.

  1. In 2008, it was estimated that 36.35 million or 40% of the total Philippine population did not complete basic education. This population is considered the target groups of the alternative learning system.
  2. The first priority of ALS are the 27.53 million 15 years old and above. Meanwhile, the aggregated 8.8 million target learners that are comprised of the 6-11 years old (5.7 million) and 12-15 (3.1 million) years old are its second priority.
  3. Specially, this group of marginalized learners consists of street children, indigenous peoples, farmers, fisher folks, women, adolescents, solo parents, children in conflict area not reached by the formal school system, rebel returnees, and others

ALS is either DepED-delivered or DepED-procured. Other than DepED, many organizations and individuals deliver the ALS. This program delivery called Non-DepED.

  • DepED-delivered refers to the implementation arrangement where program is directly carried-out 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 non-government organizations and other government organizations.
  • 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, chirch-based organizations and others.
  • The ALS Programs are carried out by ALS Mobile Teachers and District ALS Coordinators in the 17 regions of the country. Both are DepED employed and hold regular teacher items.

Mobile Teachers are “specialized” teachers who live among the people in remote barangays of the country conduct the BLP for illiterate out-of-school youth and adults who are willing to learn basic literacy skills and Accreditation and Equivalency (a continuing education) for those who left formal school system or have no access to schools.

The District ALS Coordinators are primarily designated to harmonize ALS initiatives in a district. However, just like the Mobile Teachers, they also serve as facilitators in the delivery of the Basic Literacy Program and the Accreditation and Equivalency Program.

  • The learning facilitators (Facilitator, Instructional Manager, ALS Mobile Teachers, District ALS Coordinator) 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 anothersitio 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 Teacher brings the learning materials to the learners to help them acquire basic literacy skills or continuing education.

  • ALS programs are delivered in various modes such as face-to-face, radio-based, eskwela/ computer-based or independent learning and through iNSTRUCTION.

Face to Face – Conventional way of teaching which uses variety of strategies and different

instructional/learning materials.

Radio   Based   Instruction – Utilizes local community and other modes of broadcast, the core

learning modules are transfomed into radio scripts which were produced for

public broadcast.

Computer Based Instruction – Provides ICT–enhanced educational opportunities for Filipino

OSC, OSY, and OSA, learners use ALS digitized learning modules that are

interactive and self-paced.

Independent Learning – Learners have their own choice of  flexible time in leaning, materials

used by the learners are integrated, self-instructional, self-paced, and


Television Instruction – Informal or unstructured way of learning from TV episodes/shows

that are informative and are based in the curriculum competencies.

  • 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.
  • The ALS utilizes learning modules. Each module is complete in itself. It contains the objectives and description of the module, learning activities, pre and post tests. 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 new lesson, thus, making learning more fun and interesting. Used of multi-media also gives both Facilitators and learners chance to access new information and technology and activates multi-sensory learning.

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 ( numeracy and scientific thinking)
  • Sustainable use of Resource/ Productivity (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)
  • The potential learner in the ALS goes through a screening process to determine whatever past learning that he/she may have through the Functional Literacy Test (FLT). This assessment will assist the Learning Facilitator to set-up a teaching and learning plan for a particular learner.

The 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.

  • The ALS A&E Test is a recognized alternative pathway to Elementary and Secondary Level certification for out-of-school youth and adults.
  • The following are the potential takers:
  • Completers of the Basic Literacy Program
  • Completers of the A & E Program
  • Elementary and Secondary Level school drop-outs who are either unemployed/ underemployed OSY’s and adults
  • Industry-based workers, housewives, domestic helpers, factory workers, drivers, inmates (prisoners)
  • Others who have not graduated from elementary or high school who want to continue learning
  • Filipinos who are at least :
    • 11 years old for the Elementary Level test
    • 15 years old for the Secondary Level test
  • A & E Test is composed of :
    • Multiple–Choice Test – is designed to determine the examinee’s level of mastery of the competencies of the ALS A&E Curriculum Framework.
    • Composition/Essay Writing Test – is designed to assess the written communication skills of the examinees.
  •             Elementary Level – 4 hours ( MC- 3 hrs & 30 mins / 30 minutes)
  •             Secondary Level – 4 hours & 45 mins. ( MC- 4 hrs & 15 mins / 30 minutes)
  • A potential test taker must register at the nearest Test Registration & Testing

Center bringing the following requirements:

  1. Most recent ID photo 1”X 1” ( Elem- Blue Background, Sec.- Green Background)
  2. Any one (1) of the following:

            Birth or Baptismal Certificate

Marriage Contract

Driver’s License

Community Tax Certificate


TIN Card

Latest Report Card

Voter’s ID Card

Other authentic documents bearing date of birth like ;

Barangay Certificate or Community Tax Certificate.

  • For the Elementary Level – The Standard Score should be 90 and above and the

Essay should be 3 points


  • For the Secondary Level – If the Standard Score is  95-99, the  Essay should be 3 points

and If the Standard Score is 100 and above,  the   Essay should

be  at least  2 points .

  • The Examinee Report Form (ERF) / Individual Test Result released by BALS to the Division Officeone month after the publication on the internet, which is issued   only once.
  • Certificate signed  by the Secretary of Education, which is issued only once, two (2) months  after announcement.
    • Enter college/university
    • Enter other formal/non-formal training programs
    • Enter/re-enter the world of work
    • Enter/re-enter  elementary or secondary formal school system
    • Learn essential life skills to participate more fully and actively in the political, social and economic lives in the community.
  • For the Elementary Level Test Passers:

                         – Those who are 11 to 14 years old, will enter/re-enter  formal  school system and

may proceed  for  enrollment  to  Grade 7

                         – Those who are 15 years old and above may enter/re-enter  formal school system

As eligible  Secondary Level  (Grade 7 ) or may enter/re-enter  Alternative Learning

System – A & E Secondary Level

  • For the Secondary Level Test Passers:

– Those who passed  the  A&E Test – Secondary Level  for Calendar Year 2015 and

backwards   may enter/re-enter  college/tertiary level.

– Those who will pass  the  A&E Test – Secondary Level  for  Calendar Year 2016 and

onwards   may enter/re-enter  formal  school system  and enroll Senior High School

Program  (Grade 11) . However,  ALS  A&E Test Passers – Secondary Level  for

Calendar Year 2015 and  backwards   may voluntarily  enroll   Senior High School

Program  (Grade 11) as they wish, but they cannot avail of the Voucher Management

System (VMS).


  • 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 to 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 Programs: a) the Basic Literacy Program (BLP) for illiterates and the b) 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 peoples (IPs). With this construct, greater learning needs will be addressed and funneled to promote lifelong learning in all streams of education.

  • Informal Education ( NFED ) in ALS is a lifelong learning process acquired outside the formal school system but which complements learning acquired in both Nonformal Education ( NFE ) and Formal Basic Education  ( FBE ).

        INFED occurs incidentally, is ubiquitous ( available everywhere ) is stimulated by one’s interests and is derived from daily life experiences as well as from life itself . Its flexibility enables a person to transform one’s learning experiences into meaningful personal and social development.

       Since INFED responds to an individual’s learning needs at the time and situation when it is most needed, it is called “ just-in- time learning.

  • The INFED courses may be delivered both to the ALS Learners in the community learning centers and community members who are not participating in any ALS programs.

      – The INFED courses to be offered are based on the interests and need of the learners / community members themselves.

       -INFED courses may be taught by the appropriate local resource person who serves as a “guide master”, an expert, a coach, or a role model of a specific craft. If qualified, the INFED facilitator may teach an INFED course.

        – Generally, though. INFED facilitators serve as coordinators / managers who assemble the resources  ( person and materials needed for the courses ) as well as assist in the accreditation of the skills acquired by the learners from the courses.

  • INFED as a major component of the ALS and complements NonFormal Education (NFE) in addressing the learning needs of all especially the marginalized learners. Such as INFED creates opportunities for self development , for community development, entrepreneurial / livelihood skills development in response to the individual’s learning interests. Consequently, through INFED, a person is able to acquire skills that he recognizes as his needs.
  • Strictly speaking, since INFED is acquired incidentally and is based on one’s personal interests, there is no external “ teacher ” other than the person himself ( independent or self-learning ). However, INFED in ALS may also be delivered through a learning facilitator sometimes called a “ guide master”, a “coach” , a “ role model” etc. who demonstrate a deeper understanding and a wider range of skills that learners wish to acquire.
  • As a rule, all members of the community are the learners of INFED in ALS, including the marginalized groups of the population. Thus, INFED learners are children, youth and adults who represent interest groups such as senior citizen, youth leaders, professionals, laborers, employees, etc.
  • Skills acquired in an INFED course will be recorded in the INFED Passport, which serves as the learning portfolio of the individual learner. The INFED passport contains the skills acquired by the learner after participating in an INFED course as reported by both the Resource Person and the INFED facilitator.

To assess the skills acquired by the learner at the end of the course, the following techniques may be applied.

  1. Self- Assessment – the learner evaluates his/ her own performance.
  2. Coaching- the facilitator guides the learner on the skills being mastered.
  3. Exhibit of Products or Outputs or evidences of learning.
  4. Skills Sorting- the facilitator analyzes and evaluates the skills gained.

-In addition, the INFED skills of the learners may be accredited by relevant accrediting agencies. For example, learners who have completed a technical- vocational INFED course may take the TESDA National Certificate ( NC ) test and if successful, may be certified accordingly. In the case of arts courses , language  courses, etc., appropriate accrediting institution or agencies may issue the certification needed upon successful passing agency test. As a rule, INFED operates in the context of lifelong learning and does not aim for certification or accreditation.


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