Today we are having a day-long workshop to plan for an ALS Festival in September 26. It is sponsored by Enet, the education campaign network on EFA (Education For All).

It’s only recently that NGOs in the Philippines have included ALS or Alternative Learning System in their vocabulary. In 1986, soon after getting out of prison, I helped convene a series of consultations on our education work, and the term we adopted and popularized was popular education or “pop-ed.” That seems to have spread, at least among social activists and development workers. A young person from the Cordillera even used it to re-baptize me. Since I had been laicized and was not “Father Ed” anymore, he said friends should call me “Pop-Ed.”

Popular education is usually located within social movements and development processes, linked to community organizing or CO – another keyword in NGO vocabulary. Within popular education, the Education for Life Foundation (ELF), which I helped establish, chose to focus on grassroots leadership formation.

Sometimes we refer to our work on grassroots leadership formation as “alternative higher education.” After all, grassroots leaders e.g. barangay council members, coop leaders etc. need more than basic education.

Enet was organized to insure civil society participation in achieving EFA. When ELF was asked to join, I wondered how we could best contribute. We were and still are not into the reform of formal basic education. We were mainly involved in the education of adults, rather than children.

The education data helped define our place in Enet and EFA. It was quite a shock to learn that of every 100 children who enroll in Grade One, only 45 manage to graduate from fourth year high school. Obviously the formal system of basic education (primary and secondary) serves less than half of the chidlren and youth. There is even an acronym for those outside the system – OSY, out of school youth.

What should be done? What can we do?

One way is to reform and improve the performance of the formal, school-based system, to reduce drop outs and to improve quality. One good news is that there are many more education advocates who are into this – from LGUs mobilized by Synergeia, to parents and teachers getting more involved in school-based management.

This is what Mayor Jessie Robredo of Naga City told me when I was evaluating them for the National Literacy Awards. His point was that optimizing the performance of the formal system will lessen the drop outs and give us a more realistic sense of how many really need ALS. He pioneered in “re-engineering the Local School Board” which improved the education outcomes in Naga City public schools.

But even with optimum performance from the school-based system, there will be those who for other reasons – poverty, part-time work, early pregnancy, different learning styles – cannot go through the usual Monday to Friday, morning till afternoon school routine. They need another way to learn. That’s where ALS comes in.

Fortunately the DepEd has done something about ALS. Financed by an ADB loan, it has produced 150 modules for self-study and group-study, and has set up an assesment system that makes it possible for out of school youth to learn and get the equivalent of a high school diploma. At the ALS Festival, we will exchange our experiences in implementing ALS, and discuss ways of improving and expanding our work.

That’s ALS for basic education. But there is also ALS for higher education. In fact, in the framework of lifelong learning, we need to recognize and develop many ways of learning.


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  1. joan

    please respond to all questions as to where and when do we see th the result of the ALS exam 2009.. classes will start by june 1, yet we are not informed of the results.. thank you so much,..

  2. pecit_education

    we wanted to open an ALS program here in Butuan City to help those who wanted to finish HS.

    we need help, asan po kami lalapit. I am interested with that modules saan po kami makabili nuon.

    • edicio

      Check with the Butuan City division ALS coordinator. But prepare by listing those out of school youth you want to help, and your prospective IM. The modules are available in the DepEd ALS office, on CDs. You can ask to burn a copy from which you can print out hard copies for the learners.

  3. Rene "RC" Catacutan

    When I first encountered alternative learning system (ALS) during the 1980s, I consulted my good, old college dictionary (yes, it is that old) hoping that I would find a brief description of the terminology. I did not find any so I did what was available to me: word for word translation (don’t frown at me kids, back then we did not have internet yet). My dictionary defines alternative as “that maybe chosen in place of something else”, learning as “knowledge, erudition”, and system as “regular method or order”. Connecting these 3 words gave me the rough literal meaning of “method of acquiring knowledge in place of something else”. That “something else”, I assumed then, could be the “formal, school-based education system, which makes ALS “informal”. But then, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (now the Department of Education, or DepEd) “adopted” ALS mainly through the creation of the Bureau of Non-Formal Education (renamed in 2004 as the Bureau of Alternative Learning System, or BALS), the promulgation of non-formal learning modules, and the institution of the national accreditation and equivalency test (ALS A&E Test). In a sense, the “informal” ALS has “found” its way into the “formal” education system.

    (This habit of renaming government agencies to suit the caprice of some incumbent officials is not only confusing to ordinary Filipinos like me but also wasting huge smount of public fund in invalidated office stationeries, business forms and signages. “What’s in the name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.)

    The BALS defines “non-formal” education as “any structured educational activity that takes place outside the established formal education system”. Again, I’m a bit confused with the definition. If it is structured it must be following a system. If its products are recognized and certified by no less than the DepEd Secretary, the system must be formal. If ALS is “adopted” by both the DepEd (the established formal institution for basic education) and the Commission on Higher Education, or CHED (the established formal institution for higher education), it must be formal in nature.

    The word “alternative” also begs for a more expansive definition. Is ALS an alternative system because its “educational activities take place outside the established formal education system”? Maybe, but only in so far as its delivery mode is concerned and not necessarily in substance. The fact that ALS exists points to the inability of the State to provide “quality” education for all (EFA). What with 55% of all children entering the formal education system eventually failing to either advance to or finish secondary education? Clearly, reforms in our basic education system is in order. On the other hand, EFA and ALS are not the sole responsibility of the State so private advocates and practitioners of ALS should be encouraged and given incentives to continue and expand their parallel activities and provide a “truly alternative” system in both form and substance. Hopefully, with crucial funding support from DepEd-BALS, CHED and LGUs.

    Do we have a “unified” ALS delivery system? If you ask the government you will get a resounding “yes”. But if you pose the same question to private advocates and practitioners you will likely get a response that what we have is a collection of educational activities that will not qualify as a unified system.

    Since the school season has just begun, it might be a good idea if we brush up on our understanding of the words “alternative”, “learning”, and “system”.

    N.B.: Ed, pakisabi naman sa web host mo lagyan sa Comment Section ng Word Tools like highlight, italics, underline,etc.

  4. edgar s. siguan

    i want only to be more knowledgable about this kind of system,since that the only lists of out of school youth individual an the prospective IMs are the main requirements of having this ALS can i have or request a module also from DepEd in regards this program?im very much willing to be part this advocacy.

  5. Cecille Capitin

    My husband will take the Alternative Learning System Acrreditation and Equivalnecy Test this coming October pls send me a module for his reviewer… i hope you’ll send my request.. pls…

  6. fastlearner

    I will be taking the test this October as well. Please share a copy of the reviewer. Thanks!

  7. john paul padrinao

    saan po ba makikita yung results ng examination ngaung 2009 ? salamat po .. god bless :)

  8. julie

    is it possible for me to know if i’d pass the als exam this october 11,2009?do ya have any website for als passers name?thank you..

  9. charisse

    kailan po b nmin mlalaman ung results ng exam last october 25,2009 because of a long time waiting for that results many of student that taking exam are not visible to apply an any job or when we see the results please faster to give that..

  10. juvelyn

    hi sir and ma’m kumha po kc ako ng exam sa als hangang now wala pa po result ask ko lang po kung nakapasa po ako tnx po.

  11. rijen revelo

    .hi sir kelan po ba nmin malalaman ang result ng exam nmin last NOVEMBER 08 2009 sa ST.JOHN THE BAPTIST district..JIMENEZ MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL..

    .tnx 4 da response sir..

  12. Zhenie de Borja

    Hi. I am one of the many instructional Manager in Metro manila and I would like to request the early release of the result of October 2009 Exam A & E so that my students will be happy or sad in the said result and can have an alternative things to do in the near future. Thanks. . .

  13. Inday Toling_Olayer

    Inquiry on the results of the ALS test conducted last November 8, 2009 conducted in Kabasalan, Sibugay Zamboanga del Sur.

    My grandson participated in the ALS test mentioned above but until now the results of the said examination was not released yet. May we know if the results are available now for release so that we can prepare ourselves for the upcoming opening of classes.
    Hoping for your immedate response to our queries.

  14. maryjoy

    ☺☺☺hi maam cer ako poew c maryjoy racines kumuha ng als exam n00ng oct 25 2009 tanungin koe lng poe
    kelan vah malalaman ang resulta ng exam at saan 2 makikita

  15. Margielen M. Bunac

    gusto k lang po malaman kung saan po namin pwede makita ang result ng asl result 2009 exam.last oct.26 2009.


    hi maam,and sir,gusto ko lang po malaman kung sino sino po sa amin ang pumasa sa asl exam.result last oct.24, kung san po namin pwede makita ang resulta ng mga pumasa.maraming salamat po.

  17. Anonymous

    hellow po…
    ahmm ask me lang po,..
    if kelan po nmin mllman ung result ng exam s ALS
    last october 26, 2009my other mweb site po b pra mlman nmin,..?
    slmat po

  18. jobert

    hi!! i took the exam last november 2009. i would like to ask,when will be the releasing of the result?tnx. more powers

  19. cristina caparida

    gud pm po!cristina caparida po ito nais ko po sana malaman ang result ng exam ko?nagtake po ko ng xsam nung oct 25 2009.pls paki email nlng po kung nakapasa ako. eto po email add ko tnx po pls reply asap……….

  20. danilo dela cruz jr

    gud day,maam/sir nag take po ako ng test sa ALS A&E last nov.2009 ask ko lang po sana kung naka pasa po ako thanks po

  21. ryan

    i want ask regarding the result of the a and e test i was took an exam last October 2009 i leave from Cebu region 7 THE TEACHER SAID YOU POST IT THROUGH THE WEBSITE SO WHEN DID I GET THE RESULT HOPE U WILL RESPONSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE THANKSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  22. LHEA

    Sir/ Maam
    Will you send to my Facebook account the result of ASL exam? Please. Here is my email add..
    As soon as possible please. I need to know it now. Thanks. I’ll wait for your response. God bless.

  23. joyrose c. lumbo

    hellow,, poh kelan poh ba? namin malalaman ung result ng asl last oct. 11 2009? if meron na poh paki e-mail naman poh sakin,,,hanalim26 thanksssssss,,,,poh,,,,

  24. jean tudladan

    good day po,,,,,,,,,,gusto ko lng po sana malaman kung saan makikita ang result ng als exam nung october 26,2009,pakisent nlng po sa email add ko ,,,,,,,,,,,salamat po,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  25. jhon michael

    magandang umaga po my eta2nong po ako tungkol xa result ng exam noong nov 8 2009 bat hndi poh ako nka paxa? hindi nman po masamang mag tanong dba.

  26. Kent Glou C. Hamili

    helo ! tanong kulang kung saan ako nagkamali ikasi madali ko lang nasagot lahat ng tanong niyo sa amin kasi halos lahat ng tanong ninyo nong national exam na review ko na man , bakit po ganon ? Siguro ni lutong macao lang niyo para madali ang labas ng result sa als national exam, ang unfair naman ninyo hindi po kayo patas! Just to make sure na hindi ako nakapasa send niyo sa akin o pwede ko bang malaman , makita ang resulta ng ginawa kong pagsusulit sa inyo?Ako po pala si KENT GLOU C. HAMILI contact no. ko po 09073343187 my FRIENDSTER.COM din po ako at may YAHOO MAIL din po ako hoy_gay143

  27. Kent Glou C. Hamili

    helo ! tanong kulang kung saan ako nagkamali ikasi madali ko lang nasagot lahat ng tanong niyo sa amin kasi halos lahat ng tanong ninyo nong national exam na review ko na man , bakit po ganon ? Siguro ni lutong macao lang niyo para madali ang labas ng result sa als national exam, ang unfair naman ninyo hindi po kayo patas! Just to make sure na hindi ako nakapasa send niyo sa akin o pwede ko bang malaman , makita ang resulta ng ginawa kong pagsusulit sa inyo?Ako po pala si KENT GLOU C. HAMILI contact no. ko po 09073343187 my din po ako at may YAHOO MAIL din po ako hot_gay143

  28. ryan

    gud pm po!aq po si ryan fabellar nais q poh mlaman ang resulta ng exam q noOng oct. 25 2009. kung sakali pong nkapasa ako paki email nalng poh sa ym q yan poh tsaka palagy n din poh ang result

  29. chaty

    im so happy passing the als examination…thank you at kahit matagal ang aking paghihintay…sa wakas, nakapost na rin although nahirapan akong hanapin sa internet…thank you als…

  30. chaty

    malaking tulong po eto sa akin…overage na kasi ako..excited na akong magka diploma..wehehehehehhehe!!!!!!

  31. arlan

    kailan poe namin malalaman kung cno pumasa sa

    ALS para poe makapag request ako sa tita ko

    salamat poe god blees

  32. sirfroifromsancarloscity

    hi people the result of the ALS is already released last week please see your respective facilitator or instead go to the ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SYSTEM where you belong……Congrats to all the passers…I am very happy because my brother tops the exam and my 4 students also pass the Equivalency Exam….God bless

  33. angelica macalinao

    magandang araw po ako po si angelica macalinao,itatanong ko lang po kung saan pwedeng makita yung reult nung exam last oct.25,2009?

    nasira na po kc yung email add ko.

  34. nery

    deped magparamdam naman kayo sa mga taong nag hihintay ng resulta ng kanilang exam buhay pa ba kayo o kaylangan pang maglagay para hindi na mahilo pa ang mga pinaasa nyo! ganyan talaga kabulok ang sistema ng ating gobyerno hawa hawa lahat mula sa taas hanggang sa baba!KELANGAN PA BANG MAG MAKAAWA ANG MGA TAONG UMAASA NA MULING MAGKARUN NG PAGASA AT MULING MAKITA ANG KINABUKASAN KHIT NALIPASAN NA NG PAGKAKATAON! MARAMING SALAMAT PO!

  35. Adine

    DepEd… nasan na ba ang resulta ng aLs noong 2009? hindi madali umasa at maghintay ng mtagal ha…. pagkatapos ala lang pala… pwede bang aksyunan nyo na… pls. lang… gusto rin naming makapag.aral na…..

    enx… nd more power!

  36. maryjane


    saan poh vah makikita yong ALS result nong oct.2009
    kasi poh gusto ko pong malaman if nakapasa vah kame ng mga kaklase ko….

    and ano poh bang wibe site namin ma tatagpo an yan…

    salammat poh

  37. ashkicker

    hillo po!!!
    pwede po ba mlaman kung saan
    po nmin mkta ang result ng exam?
    kc po gsto k n pong mkapg aral
    ng hs…..

    plzz……nman po!!!

    “””tanx and god blees!!!

  38. gilbert cadacio

    Kung d po ba nakapasa sa als a&e exam ay di pwedeng bigyan ng service provider ang isang completer para naman at least eh makakuha cla ng mga tecnical/vocational course?

  39. joeann

    helow po tanong ko lang po kung kailan ang result ng exam last octuber 3,2010? salamat po

  40. elsa

    good day , kindly notify me whenever the october 2010 a&e result comes out in the net,please….thank you

  41. Maria Lyn

    i just want to ask when/where can i find the result for the october 2010 A&E Exam. Kindly send your respond to my email.

    THANK YOU :)

  42. meralyn

    …kelan po ba malalaman ang result sa ALS?october 17 2010 po ako nag exam …plzzz comment nlamg po tenkzz …god bless us!!!!!!

  43. erwin rosell

    ,,,please need po namin ang result sa aming als exam nung october dto sa tangub city..,thx!

  44. benjie frasco

    ahmmm… maam,sir kilan poh bah namin malalaman ang rusult sa 2010 anung name ng website poh namin makikita ang mga passers tnx poh…

  45. genesis

    hello,sir/madam.,im asking for the result of als examination last October,2010?how can i fine it?pls send me a message 2 my email addres,tnx a lot..

  46. Annie Nalasa

    Hi. Thanks for Dr. Usman my professor in ALS that she imparted here knowledge to us bout ALS. Hopefully more good fellow do that. Thanks.

  47. annie rose.galimba

    sir/maam annie po ito kelan po ba malalaman result ng mga nakapasa ng als exam ng 2012?

  48. Erma

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    someone who really understands what they’re discussing over the internet. You certainly realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people need to check this out and understand this side of the story. It’s surprising you’re not more popular because you certainly have the gift.

  49. ADIPEX

    It’s very easy to find out any matter on web as compared to textbooks, as I found this post at this web site.

  50. Anonymous

    pano po malalaman kung pasa mo ako sa alternative learning system [ALS] ? salamat po

  51. grace

    pano po malaman if nakapasa ka nag take ako nung october 2010 per umuwi kc ako ng bohol panu po makuha ang certificate?

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