The essay sample on Alternative Learning System Essay dwells on its problems, providing shortened but comprehensive overview of basic facts and arguments related to it. To read the essay, scroll down.
Overview: Historical Context of ALS As always, it is best to trace the source of an educational system such as the ALS to the basic and fundamental law of the land. The Philippine Constitution provides for free and compulsory elementary education and free secondary education through the Department of Education (DepEd). This means that all Filipinos have a constitutional right to basic education, and the DepEd is mandated to provide this service to all Filipinos.
In the 80’s, the global community launched a campaign called Education for All (EFA) that aimed to eradicate illiteracy and promote functional literacy for all people of the world. Our nation was a signatory to this and as such, committed to providing education for all Filipinos ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SYSTEM > is a parallel learning system that provides a viable alternative to the existing formal education. It encompasses both the non formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills. In summary, we say:
Basic Education = early childhood education (kindergarten) and elementary education (Grades 1-6) and secondary education (1st-4th year) and ALS (for out- -of- school age children, youth adults and those with special needs). Alternative Learning System = Non Formal Education (NFE) and Informal Education (IEd) A. EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 356: RENAMING THE BEREAU OF NON FORMAL EDUCATION (BNFE) THE BEREAU OF ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SYSTEM (BALS) On September 13, 2004, the office of the President of the Republic of the
What Is Alternative Learning System Of Deped
Philippines renamed the DepEd’s Bureau of Non Formal Education the Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS) through this Executive Order signed by Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The order directs BALS to provide a systematic and flexible approach to reach all types of learners outside the school system. THIS MEANS THAT by the virtue of this Executive Order, the BALS has given the authority to guide the development of the country’s ALS. Functions of BALS to address the learning needs of all marginalized groups including the deprived, depressed and underserved citizens •to coordinate with various agencies for skills development of the learners •to expand access to educational opportunities for citizens of different interests, capabilities, demographic characteristics and socio-economic origins and status •to promote certification and accreditation for basic education of alternative learning programs both non formal and informal in nature B. EDUCATION FOR ALL (EFA) PLAN by 2015
In 2004, the Philippine government once again committed to participate in the global campaign for Education for All by the year 2015. In this plan, one of the major goals is “transforming all nonformal and informal education intervention into an ALS to yield more EFA benefits”. This means that the goal is to have in place a credible ALS (consisting of NFE and informal Education) that shall increase functional literacy among the marginalized groups of learners. To this end, certain tasks will need to be undertaken, namely. . Develop and strengthen the DepEd’s BALS and mandate it to serve as the government agency to guide the development of the country’s ALS. 2. Make available public funds for ALS programs of GOs and NGOs subject to the guidelines of BALS. 3. Build and develop a constituency for ALS development. 4. Conduct research and studies to test cost-effective options for delivering quality ALS. 5. Undertake an inventory of available resources in localities for literacy interventions outside schools. 6.
Ensure a vigorous and credible system for reliably assessing, measuring, validating and communicating competencies acquired through NFE and informal education. In summary, the EFA Plan for 2015 prescribes urgent tasks that will guide the Department of Education in fulfilling the spirit of RA 9155 and EO 356 and ultimately the vision of the Philippine Constitution. It embodies the various programs, projects and direction to achieve the goal of quality ALS for Filipino learners. THE ALS and FORMAL EDUCATION The Two Paths to basic Education Take a look at the figure above.
It shows two (2) roads both leading towards the attainment of basic education. One road is marked “formal education” and it makes use of schools. The other road is marked “ALS” and it makes use of community learning centers for out-of-school youth and adults and these centers may be a barangay hall, a church, a factory, etc. Notice, too, the travelers in the “formal education” road and those in the “ALS” road. In the former, they are young; in the latter, they are both young and old. This illustration suggests that the Filipino can choose to take any of the two (2) roads to acquire basic education.
Further, it suggests that the “ALS” road is open to anyone regardless of age. What is important too is that one may attain basic education even without entering the school system. Because this is a very simple illustration, it does not explain the other important features of ALS. Consequently, a conceptual framework on the relationship between formal education and the ALS is hereby presented. The discussion that follows Figure 2 also explains those theoretical aspects that Figure 1 cannot provide. MAJOR ASPECTS OF COMPARISON Learning Program It shows the learning programs of formal education and those of the ALS.
Specifically, formal basic education consists of elementary education which covers Grades 1 to 6 and secondary education which covers 4 year levels. This ALS program on the other hand consists of the Basic Literacy Program which is a program for the illiterates on the basic reading, writing and numeracy skills, and the accreditation & Equivalency Program (A&E) which is equivalent to the elementary and high school programs of formal education and which address the learning needs of school dropouts or those who have not completed 10 years of schooling as mandated by the Philippine Constitution.
SETTING It presents the setting where learning takes place. In the formal school system teaching- learning is conducted primarily in the school. On the other hand, teaching- learning in the ALS occurs in the community learning centers (CLC) which may either be a barangay hall, church, factory, a reading center, or the home. Generally, the learners meet in the CLCs as a group according to an agreement they themselves have set with the facilitator or instructional manager. The rest of the time, learners take home their learning materials to study at their own time. TEACHER
In formal education, the teacher is called a classroom teacher who is a professional i. e. licensed to teach (having passed the Licensure Exam for Teachers). The classroom teacher must be a college graduate with degree of either BSEd or BEED. In ALS, the teacher of the Basic Literacy Program is called a facilitator who may be a high school graduate at the very least but must have undergone training as a facilitator. On the other hand, the teacher in the A&E Program must be at least a college graduate though not necessarily an Education major but must have undergone training in ALS.
AGE OF LEARNER It compares the age of learners in both the formal and ALS System. In formal education, the age of the learner is prescribed. Thus, age of entry in Grade 1, is 6-years and the exit age at 4th year high school is 15 years. On the other hand, there is no age prescribed for learners in the ALS. Oftentimes, learners in the basic Literacy Program are adults, while learners in the A&E Program are youth and adults 16 years old and over. CURRICULUM Formal education has the basic education Curriculum (BEC) while the ALS has the ALS curriculum.
The learning competencies of both curricula are parallel and comparable although subject matter or content may differ. This means that both curricula are meant to develop competencies that are equivalent in nature. While the BEC curriculum has 5 major subjects English, Science, Math, Filipino, and Makabayan, the ALS curriculum has learning strands which are lifeskills- oriented rather than subject- oriented. The 5 learning strands are the following: -Communication Skills -Development of Self and A Sense of Community -Critical Thinking and Problem Solving -Expanding One’s World Vision Sustainable Use of Resources/Productivity LEARNING MATERIALS It compares the learning materials that are generally used as the main tools for learning in the two systems of learning. Formal education generally makes use textbooks which normally require teachers to facilitate their use. The ALS meanwhile, generally makes use of printed modules which may be used by learners with or without the aid of a teacher since the materials are designed as self- instructional and therefore self-paced. Also, since the subject matter is not compartmentalized according to subject areas, the modules are said to be integrated.
TEACHING METHODOLOGY One of the basic characteristics that differentiates formal education and ALS the teaching methodology. Figure 9 shows that formal education utilizes the principles of pedagogy or the science of learning among children while the ASL utilizes the principles of andragogy, the science of adult learning. Formal education generally makes use of end-of-school year achievement tests for all learning levels in grade 1 to 4th year High School. The ALS generally makes use of end-of-program tests which may be given at any time that a learner completes the program.
For the Basic Literacy level, this test is called the Assessment of Basic Literacy (ABL Test) and it measures basic reading, writing and numeracy skills. For the A and E test, the elementary level learner takes the A and E Elementary level test and the secondary level learner takes the A and E Secondary level test. In both cases, the tests measure functional literacy competencies such as the following: 1. communicate effectively 2. solve problems scientifically, creatively and think critically 3. use resources sustain ably and be productive 4. develop oneself and a sense of community 5. expand one’s world view