The Alternative Learning System (ALS) is a parallel learning system that provides a viable alternative to the existing formal education instruction. It encompasses both non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.

The ALS provides opportunities for out-of-school youth and adults, and children in extreme cases, to develop basic and functional literacy and life skills, and to pursue equivalent pathways to complete basic education.

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 “non-formal, informal and indigenous learning systems as well as self-learning, independent and out-of-school study programs particularly those that respond to community needs.”

The Governance of Basic Education Act, otherwise known as Republic 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 aims to reach Filipino youth and adults who are unable to access or who have dropped out from formal basic education due to economic, geographic, political, physical, and social barriers.

Interested ALS learners should complete and submit the following requirements to ALS teachers in your area or to the Schools Division/District Office:

  • Photocopy of birth certificate (PSA) / baptismal certificate
  • 2x2 ID picture (white background)
  • Form 137 (only for learners from the formal education system)
Upon submission of all the required documents, the ALS learner should be registered by the ALS teacher in the Learner Information System (LIS). A unique Learner Reference Number (LRN) will be issued if successfully enrolled in the system. Note that each learner, whether in ALS or in the formal education system, should possess one LRN only.

ALS programs are carried out by ALS teachers who may be directly employed by DepEd or by service providers and partners. These ALS teachers go to locations to conduct learning sessions.

They can be grouped into three main categories: 1) DepEd-delivered, 2) DepEd-procured, and 3) Non-DepEd-financed.

DepEd-delivered refers to the ALS program implementation directly carried out by DepEd ALS implementers, such as Mobile Teachers and District ALS Coordinators who are both employed by DepEd and hold regular teacher items;
DepEd-procured refers to the ALS program implementation carried out by service providers contracted by DepEd through the Schools Division Superintendent, such as NGOs, literacy volunteers, faith-based organizations, and civil society organizations;
Non-DepEd-financed refers to the implementation of ALS programs by non-DepEd organizations, such as local government units (LGUs), NGOs, and other government organizations, international donor agencies, faith-based organizations, and individuals on a voluntary basis using their own resources.

The ALS primarily uses learning modules for its learners. Each module contains learning activities, and pre- and post-assessments. Modules for basic levels include a facilitator’s guide, while modules for advanced levels are designed for self- or independent learning. These are provided by the ALS teacher to the learners.

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 from the home or other sources may also be used.

Learning sessions may be conducted at any place or space referred to as Community Learning Center (CLC) which is convenient to the learners. The CLCs are categorized into five types:

Type Description
1 simple, makeshift or temporary meeting place (e.g. chapel or any open multi-purpose area temporarily lent for learning purposes by the barangay or any private property) with tables, charts, and chalkboard
2 semi-concrete structure mostly made of light materials such as nipa, soft wood, etc., dedicated to ALS learning sessions and related activities, and equipped with basic furniture and appliances (e.g. electric fan) and learning equipment
3 typical barangay learning center, secured and mostly made of cement and other concrete materials; dedicated to ALS learning sessions and related activities, and equipped with basic furniture and learning equipment (e.g. chairs, tables, chalkboard, library corner, cassette recorder) and basic appliances (e.g. electric fan)
4 two or three-story building fully equipped with basic furniture and advanced ICT equipment for learning, dedicated to ALS learning sessions and related activities
5 ALS and other learning materials are being utilized by learners and other members of the community; the materials are either being transported from house to house, or borrowed by interested community members from the CLC for literacy and continuing education
  • Entry back to formal school
  • Higher education
  • Middle or higher-level skills training
  • Employment
  • Entrepreneurship
In case an ALS learner without an A&E certificate wants to enroll in the formal basic education system, s/he must take and pass the Philippine Education Placement Test (PEPT).