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DepEd orders ALS covered by K-12 curriculum

by Lulu Principe 
September 14, 2019


(Photo courtesy of DepEd website)





LOS BAŇOS, Laguna -- Education Secretary Leonor Magtoles Briones has ordered the immediate implementation of major reforms that would strengthen the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program of the DepEd.

Briones, in a statement released last week together with the 11-page new set of policy guidelines for the "Enhanced Alternative Learning System (ALS)", said the changes clearly spelled out the main amendment in the ALS program, which calls for its inclusion in the K-12 curriculum now being implemented full blast in all public and private formal schools nationwide.

She said the guidelines "aim to ensure that the implementation of enhanced ALS 2.0 by the DepEd central and regional offices, schools division offices and other ALS program implementer and stakeholders is strategic and efficiently and effectively managed."

In detailing the procedure of the program implementation, Briones pointed out that "the ALS curriculum is bench marked on the DepEd K-12 Formal School Curriculum and focuses on the 21st Century Skills of Information, Media and Technology, Skills, Learning and Innovative Skills, Communication Skills, and Life and Career Skills."

The salient points of the new policy guidelines included among others the following:

* While the ALS 2.0 program started last June 3, 2019, learners who wish to enroll in ALS sessions later than June 3 can still be accommodated;

* Given the scope and the expanded content of the 2019 ALS K-12, the enhanced ALS program duration will in most cases, will be longer than the old ALS curriculum except for the Basic Literacy level;

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* Starting SY 2019-2020, the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) test will be based on the new and expanded range of competencies of the 2019 ALS K-12 that include higher competencies in English, Science, Math and Learning Strand 6 - Digital Citizenship.

ALS was launched by the DepEd in 1984 as a livelihood training program to provide less fortunate people the opportunity to earn and augment their limited income.

In 2004, the same program was enhanced by focusing on literacy education benefiting out-of-school youth; young adults as well as adults who did not finish their basic education.

It, in effect, opened up the doors with ease for the underprivileged target clients to finish their basic education, pursue a higher level of education or arm themselves with diplomas a minimum requirement in seeking jobs here and abroad.

Called learners instead of students, they attend the entire ALS literacy classes for free; even without submitting any records from their previous schools; take the A&E test and are subsequently granted either elementary or high school diplomas after passing the A&E test.

For high school ALS-A&E passers, they are accepted to enroll in college and or take technical courses in government recognized vocational schools such as TESDA.

Senator Manny Pacquiao was one of the country's known celebrities who completed his basic education through the ALS literacy program.

Under the new policy guidelines, ALS learners have to finish grade 10 and enroll in formal school for their grades 11 and 12 requirement.

The K-12 curriculum on the other hand, was carried out in full blast in 2018 and students enrolled in primary education for six years; four years in junior high school and two years in senior high or for a total of 12 years.

The K-12 requires adequate period of learning aiding the students in entering the tertiary education, technical or vocational courses for employment and entrepreneurship. (PNA)

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