March 1, 1999 – DO 22, s. 1999 – Pilot Implementation of the Nonformal Education Accreditation and Equivalency (NFE A&E) System
March 1, 1999
DO 22, s. 1999
Pilot Implementation of the Nonformal Education Accreditation and Equivalency (NFE A&E) System
To:   Regional Directors
Bureau Directors
Schools Superintendents
Heads of Private Schools
1.   The development of a nonformal alternative system for out- of- school youth (OSY) and adults who are unable to avail of the educational opportunities of the traditional formal school system, has been a dream of the Philippines Government for over twenty years. The driving force behind this dream has been a commitment to break the cycle between illiteracy and poverty and provide opportunities to the educationally disadvantaged to upgrade their skills, knowledge and competencies, in order to improve their social, political and economic well being. The development of the Nonformal Education Accreditation and Equivalency (NFE A&E) System by the Bureau of Nonformal Education (BNFE) marks the transformation of this dream into a reality.
The NFE A&E System was launched by His Excellency, President Joseph Ejercito Estrada in Aroma, (formerly Smokey Mountain), Tondo, Manila on 25 January 1999.
2.   The Nonformal Education Accreditation and Equivalency (NFE A&E)System was developed by the BNFE as a core component of the ADB- assisted Philippines Nonformal Education Project (PNFEP)—ADB Loan No. 1254-PHI (SF). It is envisioned to provide an alternative means of certification of learning to those Filipinos aged 15 years and above, who are unable to avail of the formal school system, or who have dropped out of formal elementary or secondary school.
It aims to:
  1.   Provide a system for assessing levels of literacy and nonformal learning achievement based on a National NFE A&E Curriculum covering basic and functional education skills and competencies and designed to be comparable to the formal school system;
  2.   Offer an alternative pathway by which out of school youth and adults earn an educational qualification comparable to the formal elementary and secondary school system; and
  3.   Enable out-of-school youth and adults to gain reading, writing, numeracy skills, to meet their learning goals as they define them, and to gain the skills they need to improve their economic stats and function more effectively in society.
3.   The NFE A&E System is a pioneering effort to offer a uniquely nonformal alternative learning system to formal schooling. It is built around a truly nonformal curriculum and utilizes a range of innovative nonformal learning strategies designed to break down traditional learning barriers of time, accessibility and resources. It allows flexible entry and exit points and aims to maximize learner’s control of the learning process.
4.   The target learners of the NFE A&E System are Filipinos aged 15 years and above who are:
                        Out-of-school Youth (OSY) and Adults
Functional Illiterates
Functional Education and Literacy Program (FELP) completers
Unemployed OSY and adults
Elementary and secondary school drop- outs
PEPT qualifiers who choose not to return to the formal school system
Industry- based workers
5.   The NFE A&E System will be pilot- tested in five selected urban and rural sites in Regions V, VII, XI, XII and the National Capital region from February- June 1999.
6.   The first batch of NFE A&E enrollees will take the NFE equivalency tests for both Elementary and Secondary Levels on 30 May 1999 with results to be announced by June 1999. The target number of test examinees 20,000 for the Elementary Level and 10,000 for the Secondary Level or a total of 30,000 examinees.
7.   Non-government organizations, State Universities and Colleges, Private Schools with Extension Services, Local Government Units, People’s Organizations, Church-Based Organizations, and DECS will undertake the Learning Support Delivery System.
8.   The BNFE has developed a comprehensive NFE AE Manual of Operations which details the policy framework, operating guidelines and implementing mechanism of the new NFE A&E System. The purpose of this Manual is to describe how the new alternative learning system works and provide DECS-NFE officials and other partners/stakeholders involved in the pilot implementation, a vital reference material to guide their efforts to successfully operationalize the NFE A&E System in the five pilot sites.
9.   All members the DECS officials and DECS PNFEP- hired staff in the NFE A&E System target regions should support this innovative and laudable nonformal education initiative which blazes the trail towards a flexible, responsive Philippine educational system appropriate for the next millennium. Participation in advocacy and social mobilization activities, training, implementation of the NFE A&E Learning Support Delivery System (LSDS), monitoring and evaluation, and reporting and documentation are needed to efficiently and effectively operationalize the NFE A&E System.
10.   Inclosure No. 1 details the salient features and guidelines relative to the NFE A&E System.
11.   All prior DECS issuances inconsistent with the provisions of this Order are hereby rescinded.
12.   Immediate and wide dissemination of this Order is enjoined.
                                                                        NILO L. ROSAS
Ind.: As stated
DECS Memorandum: No. 204, s. 1998
Allotment: 1-(D.O. 50-97)
To be indicated in the Perpetual Index
under the following subjects: