MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a law that institutionalizes the alternative learning system (ALS), which provides free education to those out of school.
"The State shall provide out-of-school children in special cases and adults with opportunities to improve their knowledge, values, life skills, and readiness for higher education, work or self-employment through a system of non-formal or indigenous education," said the President.
The Alternative Learning System Act shall achieve the following objectives, among others, he said.
- Hire, capacitate, and deploy ALS teachers, implementors and facilitators especially to "far-flung, unserved, underserved, conflict-afflicted communities, and communities in emergency situations
- Improve access to education and other learning opportunities and raise the level of literacy.
There were 359,862 learners enrolled in the ALS system in August, according to Department of Education data.
In 2016, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said she would prioritize the expansion of ALS to provide equal opportunities for those who will not be covered by the K to 12 program.
"Right now, may ALS tayo but it is not funded enough. Maliit lang siyang program. Dapat palakihin iyan para sa maiiwan," Briones said.
(We have an ALS but it is not funded enough. It is just a small program. It should be expanded for those who are left behind.)
From the archives: