DepEd creates Bureau of Alternative Education for out-of-school Filipinos

Published December 7, 2021, 1:26 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

In an effort to further ensure effective and efficient implementation of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program, the Department of Education (DepEd) has established the Bureau of Alternative Education (BAE).

Photo was taken in Quezon City by DepEd OASALS in September 2021 (Courtesy of DepEd)

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, in an official statement issued Tuesday, Dec. 7, said that the BAE will further expand the opportunities for Filipinos that are outside of the formal school.

“This will strengthen our initiatives, programs, and policies for the out-of-school children in special cases, youth, and adults as we ensure their educational continuity for them to be able to develop basic and functional literacy, life skills, and pursue an equivalent pathway to complete basic education,” Briones explained.

Based on Department Order (DO) No. 47, series of 2021, the BAE will serve as the focal office for implementing the department’s ALS Program.

“It will strengthen and expand the ALS Program to help increase opportunities for out-of-school children in special cases, youth, and adult learners, including indigenous peoples, persons deprived of liberty, and learners with disabilities,” DepEd said.

Among the power and functions of the newly-established Bureau include establishing minimum quality standards in the development of the ALS curriculum and learning materials, program planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and management and promoting and ensuring certification and accreditation of learners through alternative learning programs.

The BAE, DepEd said, will also “ensure access to educational opportunities for learners of different interests, learning needs, capabilities, demographic characteristics, and socioeconomic status, who have been unable to complete formal basic education, who have been unable to complete formal basic education.”

DepEd said that the BAE will also coordinate with various agencies and industries for skills development; and coordinate, encourage close partnerships and establish linkages with LGUs and the private sector on the sustainable implementation of ALS programs, among others.

The BAE will be under the DepEd’s Curriculum and Instruction (CI) strand.

DepEd said that the BAE will establish appropriate communication and coordination channels and implementation mechanisms within DepEd Central, Regional, and Schools Division Offices for the planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of ALS programs.

Meanwhile, Briones noted that the establishment of the BAE “shows DepEd’s strong commitment to provide education and help out-of-school children in special cases, youth, and adults in achieving their dreams for the betterment of their and their community’s future.”

DepEd said that the establishment of the BAE is in compliance with Republic Act No. 11510 or the “Alternative Learning System Act.”