Despite the lower number of enrollees under its Alternative Learning System (ALS) this upcoming school year, the Department of Education (DepEd) assured it will continue to offer the same to the country’s out-of-school youth and adults.
DepEd Undersecretary for ALS G.H. Ambat noted national enrollment data as of Aug. 25 showed there were only 360, 554 enrollees under the ALS program nationwide.
Ambat said the number is significantly lower compared to previous years where the ALS enrollment rate has reached over 800,000.
“This is due to the same reasons as in our regular enrollment - the impacts of COVID-19 and the economic downturn,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino.
The ALS is one of DepEd's flagship programs under the leadership of Education Secretary Leonor Briones that provides a practical option to the existing formal instruction. It caters to individuals who cannot enter the formal education system such as out-of-school youth and adults.
While enrollment is lower this upcoming school year, Ambat assured that the DepEd is also preparing for the transition into the New Normal.
Blended learning, she explained, “has already been used for ALS” even before the pandemic.
In a virtual press briefing on Aug. 24, Ambat explained just like in the formal system, remote methods of teaching which include modular, online and broadcast or radio-based instruction will be used for ALS this year.
“The use of these modalities is not something new to ALS and for this coming school year, we will still use the same learning delivery modalities to ensure that learning will continue for our out-of-school youth and adults,” Ambat said.
“Some school division offices have also prepared learners' kits for those enrolled in the ALS program,” she added.
While there are certain limitations in movement among enrollees due to the quarantines enforced in many areas, Ambat assured that the ALS learners will still be able to complete their studies.
“Our ALS teachers are also undergoing upskilling for blended or distance blended education,” she said.
Given this, Ambat enjoined those who are interested to register for the ALS Program by inquiring at their barangay halls, DepEd schools division offices, or through ALS coordinators.
A 10-month program, ALS offers Basic Literacy Program and the Continuing Education Program for accreditation and equivalency.
To strengthen the ALS, DepEd developed the Enhanced ALS 2.0 in 2019 where the offerings will include Basic Literacy (BL), Lower Elementary (LE), Advanced Elementary (AE) Level, Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS).