Alternative Learning System
From WikiPilipinas: The Hip 'n Free Philippine Encyclopedia
The Alternative Learning System (ALS) is a free education program implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) under the Bureau of Alternative Learning System which benefits those who cannot afford formal schooling and follows whatever is their available schedule. The program provides a viable alternative to the existing formal education instruction, encompassing both the non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.
ALS aims to open more educational opportunities for Filipino citizens of different interests, capabilities of demographic characteristics, socioeconomic origins and status as well as addressing the needs of marginalized groups.
The program cuts the time needed to finish high school, hence, significantly cuts the expenses as well. Aside from giving hope to the less fortunate, it also provides opportunities to Out-of-School Youths (OSY) and adults elementary and secondary school drop-outs; industry-based workers; housewives; maids; factory workers; drivers; members of cultural minorities; indigenous people and the disabled/physically challenged.
Training for instructional managers and coordinators are also provided by the program and supports the learners accreditation and equivalency (A&E) review.
 How does it work
In ALS, students have to attend 10 months of school or 800 hours in the classroom. Then their performance are then assessed.
Since ALS is a module-based learning system, students come in on a set time and choose a module to read. A quiz is given after each module to test their learning. Instead of teachers, facilitators are always present to answer any questions and sometimes lecturers would discuss a certain module. After several months, the students will take the Accreditation and Equivalency Test (AET). If they pass the test, they will be given a high school diploma and can now enroll in college.
 ALS A&E Test
The ALS Accreditation and Equivalency ALS A&E test aims to offer learners two learning achievements at two learning levels-- Elementary and Secondary.
It is a paper and pencil-based test, using multiple choice and composition writing. The test items are based on the learning competencies of the five learning strands of the ALS Curriculum.
A first year high school dropout, boxing champion, Manny Pacquiao took and passed the (AET) under the ALS program. He was presented a high school diploma, making eligible to pursue college. He was then named as the DepEd's Ambassador for the ALS and People’s Champ for Education. According to Education Secretary, Jesli Lapus, "Manny is an excellent model for all out-of-school children, youth and adults who are determined to learn and are able to gain functional literacy skills outside of formal schooling."
- Learning Station (accessed on June 10, 2009)
- Manila Times (accessed on June 10, 2009)
- ALS A&E System (accessed on June 10, 2009)
- BALS on the Web at Wikispaces
- Alternative Learning System at Courses.Com.ph