Alternative Learning System Act gets House approval

Published August 12, 2020, 8:07 PM

by Ben Rosario

The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the Alternative Learning System Act that proposes to provide accessible learning venues for out-of-school youths and adults.

With 224 affirmative votes and zero negative votes on Tuesday, House Bill No. 6910 or the Alternative Learning System Act hurdled Lower House approval. 

Authored by Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales, HB 6910 will institutionalize the Alternative Learning System in basic education.

Gonzales said passage of the measure will boost government’s basic education as the nation grapples with the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “It is the reality that not everyone can afford to go to school and attend daily class sessions without sacrificing other basic necessities in life. There are many Filipino children who have to find food first above anything else, including education,” said Gonzales.

He stressed: “With the approval of this bill, we are one step closer in giving equal opportunity for learners to avail (themselves) of systematic and flexible alternative basic education program outside of the formal school system.”

The bill allows the use of the ALS as a parallel learning system to provide a viable alternative to the existing formal education instruction for out-of-school youths,  Children and adult learners, including madrasah and indigenous peoples, will also benefit from the ALS.

ALS training includes basic and functional literacy, life skills, and an equivalent pathway to complete basic education.

Gonzales proposed that at least one ALS Community Learning Center be established in every locality in the country.

The bill likewise creates the Bureau of Alternative and Lifelong Education (BALE) which would serve as the focal office for the implementation of the ALS programs under the Department of Education (DepEd).

“Our country has made remarkable progress in improving its public education system. And with this move to institutionalize ALS, we are giving out-of-school youths and adults a second chance at education and at life,” said Gonzales.