Group lauds enactment of Alternative Learning System law

Published January 7, 2021, 4:24 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

A child rights organization welcomed the enactment of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) law that will “remove barriers to children’s learning and development” – particularly those from the marginalized sector, living in hard-to-reach areas and in vulnerable situations.

Save the Children Philippines (SCP) lauded the signing by President Duterte of Republic Act 11510 which seeks to institutionalize the ALS and will provide access to education for children who have disabilities, out of school children and youth, children from indigenous peoples’ groups, children in conflict with the law, and those in the disadvantaged sector.

“Inclusivity is critical in upholding the right of every child to access quality education that will support the development of their personality, talents, mental and physical abilities and achieve their fullest potential,” said SCP Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot.

Inclusive education means actively working to ensure that every child, irrespective of gender, language, ability, religion, nationality or other characteristics, is supported to meaningfully participate and learn alongside his/her peers, and develop to his/her full potential.

Muyot, a former Undersecretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), said children in disadvantaged sectors experience compounding issues on hunger and malnutrition, lack of access to learning, and are the most prone to abuses and exploitation. These are further exacerbated by the risks of COVID-19.

“We welcome the enactment of the law that aims to address education and development needs of children and youth, and opens opportunities for context-specific learning models fit for the intersectional needs of learners,” Muyot added.

SCP has partnered with the Education-Network Philippines in advocating for alternative learning. The organization has also pioneered the program KASALI “Kabataang Aralin sa Lahat Ibahagi” which provides children with disabilities access to quality inclusive and protective education that ensures equal learning opportunities for the most disadvantaged girls and boys.