PASAY CITY, JANUARY 20, 2020 – Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones highlighted the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education (DepEd) as a legacy program of President Rodrigo Duterte last Friday, January 17 at the Duterte Legacy campaign launch in Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City.

Secretary Briones noted that the ALS program gave second chances to the poor and marginalized in pursuing education – to learn, develop their capacities, pursue higher education, and land better jobs.

“A very important legacy program of the President is the Alternative Learning System. This is the first program when he assumed office that he gave full support and special attention to,” Briones said.

Briones reported that the average number of Out of School Youth and Adults (OSYAs) enrollees under the Duterte administration increased to 57% compared to past administrations.

“We have reached them. We have identified them. Of those who enrolled between 2016 of 2018, 66% or 1.3 million learners have completed their learning objectives. This means that ALS learners completed the program, they can take the equivalency examinations, and they can proceed to higher education,” the Education chief added.

The yearly average number of learners passing the ALS Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test increased significantly with 56% as compared to the average number of passers per year from 2005 to 2015. Passing rates likewise improved from an average of 45% in 2005 to 2015 to 66% from 2015 to 2018.

Aligning ALS with the K to 12 curriculum

Briones stressed that the significant increase in the number of ALS A&E test passers and the passing rates are due to the policy reforms that DepEd introduced to improve the reach and quality of the ALS program.

“What we have done is that we aligned the ALS curriculum with our K to 12 curriculum[sic]. This means that it [ALS] is not inferior to the K to 12 curriculum and this explains why they [ALS learners] passed the equivalency examinations. We tried to equip them with foundational competencies and 21st-century skills,” Briones said.

The online delivery of ALS is being explored to further expand access to basic education and to reach more OSYAs. An ALS-specific Post Program Support System will also be introduced for their options after ALS.

Briones expressed that the results of the reforms that DepEd has instituted will even be more visible in learners who will develop critical and analytical skills in preparation for the world of work, as part of the Department’s call on raising the quality of ALS implementers and educators.

“We are now focusing on quality, we want to upskill the capacities of our regular teachers, those in the regular schools, but we also want to raise the quality of ALS implementers. They are also graduates [sic] of education, they are also trained, and they are volunteers,” Briones noted.