DepEd to strengthen program catering to out-of-school youths

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2021 02:17 PM

MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) said Tuesday it established a new office that seeks to strengthen the implementation of the Alternative Learning System (ALS), which saw a drop in enrollees this year.

In a statement, the DepEd said it created the Bureau of Alternative Education (BAE) to "further ensure effective and efficient implementation" of the ALS, which provides learning opportunities to out-of-school youths and adults.

"This will strengthen our initiatives, programs, and policies for the out-of-school children... 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," Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.

The creation of the BAE is in compliance with Alternative Learning System Act, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed last year.

The following are the BAE's function:

  • Establish minimum quality standards in the development of the ALS curriculum and learning materials, program planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and management;
  • Promote and ensure certification and accreditation of learners through alternative learning programs;
  • 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;
  • Coordinate with various agencies and industries for skills development; and,
  • Coordinate, encourage close partnerships and establish linkages with local government units and the private sector on the sustainable implementation of ALS programs, among others

The bureau's creation comes after the DepEd reported that only 239,616 learners are registered in the ALS this year, less than 60 percent from last year's 599,365 enrollment.

"We are doubling our efforts to increase this number. Enrollment in ALS is on a rolling basis that extends beyond the enrollment period in formal education," the DepEd said in a Nov. 18 statement.

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