Non-formal education in the Philippines

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Non-formal education in the Philippines (NFE) is designed to help out-of-school youth (OSY) and adults (OSA) who are unable to attend formal education due to economic, social and geographical limitations in developing literacy and employable and productive skills. Courses usually last for six to ten months and are mainly skills oriented.



Non-formal education concentrates on the acquisition of skills necessary for employability and competitiveness in the labour market. The availability of non-formal education expands educational access to more citizens representing a variety of demographic characteristics, socioeconomic origins, and general interests. In effect, the non-formal subsystem makes education available to a very large number of Filipinos who would otherwise not have an opportunity to participate in any educational opportunities.

The non-formal education programs focus on the following thrusts:

  • the promotion of literacy programs for the attainment of basic skills that include numeracy and functional literacy and which are basic needs for every individual;
  • the development of livelihood skills which manifest in the individual specific competencies that prepare, improve, and enhance employability and economic productivity;
  • the expansion of certification and equivalency programs, which are administered by the formal education subsystem, into the non-formal sector.

NFE A&E System

The Non-Formal Education - Accreditation and Equivalency (NFE A&E) System is envisioned to those Filipinos who are unable to avail of the formal school system or who have dropped out of formal school elementary and secondary education

The NFE A&E test offers OSY, OSA, functional illiterates, unemployed people, elementary and secondary education drop-outs, and industrial workers the possibility of certification. The NFE A&E test is a standardized paper- and pencil-based test featuring multiple-choice questions based on the expected learning outcomes articulated in the five learning strands of the NFE A&E Curriculum framework:

  • Communication skills: ability to read and write and to apply these skills in solving problems of daily living and accessing new information and opportunities in order to lead a better life
  • Problem solving and critical thinking: skills conducive to reading calendars, counting change, reading road signs with numbers, and so on
  • Sustainable use of resources/productivity
  • Development of self and sense of community
  • Expanding one's world vision: Filipinos are part of global community




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