The ALS A&E System is an alternative learning system which provides an alternative means of learning and certification for out-of-school youth and adults aged 15 years and above, who are unable to avail of the educational opportunities of the formal school system or who have dropped out of the formal elementary or secondary education. Its vision is to empower the Filipino out-of-school youth and adults to continue to learn on their own so they may improve the quality of their life and that of their family, community and country. Its mission is to provide out-of-school and adults with learning opportunities by which can gain knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will enable them to think critically and creatively; act innovatively and humanely and achieve their learning goals in order to become a contributing member of Filipino society.
Accreditation and Equivalency System aims to:
- Provide a system for assessing levels of literacy and other non-formal learning achievement covering basic and functional education skills and competencies designed to be comparable to that of the formal school system;
- Offer an alternative pathway by which out-of-school youth and adults earn an educational qualification comparable to the elementary and secondary school system, and
- Enable the out-of-school youth and adults to gain reading, writing and numeracy skills to meet their learning goals as they define them to gain the skills they need to improve their economic status and function more effectively in society.
The target learners of the A&E System are 15 years old and above out-of-school youth and adults who are basically literate. Most of these target learners live below the poverty line predominantly coming from the depressed, disadvantaged, underdeveloped and under served areas and it also the needs of the differently abled, the prisoners and the cultural communities.
A set of major indicators of functional literacy accompany this expanded definition of functional literacy, detailing the range of competencies an adult Filipino citizen will need to possess to function effectively in Filipino society as it enters into the 21st century. These indicators of functional literacy were formulated into five interrelated learning strands, namely:
- Communication Skills which focuses on the four main components of language namely listening, speaking, reading and writing from printing and electronic media
- Problem Solving and Critical Thinking which focuses on skills that are basic to meaningful participation in community life and improvement of quality of life with focus on numeracy and scientific thinking
- Sustainable Use of Resources/Productivity includes competencies related to earning a living, sustainable use of resources and productivity
- Development of Self and a Sense of Community focuses on four indicators, namely, self-development, interpersonal relationship, personal and national identity, and recognition and practice of civil and political rights and corresponding responsibilities.
- Expanding One’s World Vision which help the learners gain greater awareness of themselves in relation to the world as members of an increasingly global society including knowledge, respect and appreciation for diversity, peace and nonviolent resolution of conflicts, and global awareness and solidarity.
The District ALS Coordinator, Mobile Teacher or Instructional Manager is the key persons in the A&E System who is responsible for supervising/facilitating the learning process for groups of up to seventy-five learners.
The Alternative Learning Accreditation & Equivalency (ALS A&E) offers learners the possibility of certification through successful completion of ALS A&E Test at the Elementary and Secondary Levels. The tests at both levels are paper and pencil-based tests and use predominantly multiple-choice based questions and an essay writing test. In the multiple-choice tests, there are 160 items in the 4 sub-tests covering 5 learning strands in the elementary level and 250 items in the secondary level. These are computer-scored. These are standardized tests under a time frame. The essay writing test is in Filipino and writing skills are assessed using wholistic scoring based on the Minnesota Basic Standard Test of Writing Composition which was adapted for this purpose. Each essay is assessed a team of five assessors.
There are several options for the ALS A&E Test Passers, Elementary Level Test Passers wishing to continue to the formal secondary education is qualified to enroll as a freshman in high school. Secondary Level Test Passers, namely, to enter college, university, enter other non-formal training programs, enter formal training programs, and enter/re-enter the world of work.
The post implementation support system includes Graduation/completion ceremony, Counselling and Referral. The certificates in both Elementary and Secondary Levels are signed by the Secretary of the Department of Education.
Ariel D. Cañete
Abucay District ALS Coordinator
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