Alternative Learning System: Frequently Asked Questions
There are only several days before the registration for the Alternative Learning System Accreditation and Equivalency (ALS A & E) Test 2012 ends, and since we’ve been getting a lot of questions from you, we decided to seek the assistance of an ALS representative so they can tell us more about the program and the exam.
Following the tip of ALS graduates, we went to a nearby Barangay Hall to ask if they are offering ALS A & E classes, and true enough, a large streamer with the words “Alternative Learning System Community Learning Center” was hanging by the gate. We asked a bystander what day and time the center usually opens, and we were advised to see the ALS Coordinator who also conducts classes at the nearby elementary school for more information.
When we reached the school, we learned that the ALS Coordinator the barangay official was referring to is Mrs. Norma Ayala, the ALS Coordinator for the entire East District of Lucena City, so we were glad because we’ll probably have all our questions answered and more.
After introducing ourselves and stating our purpose for the visit, they gladly oblige us with a one-on-one interview. Below is a summary of what we were able to find out during the course of the conversation.
What is Alternative Learning System?
Alternative Learning System is a project of the Department of Education through its Bureau of Alternative Learning System. Its aim is to help elementary and high school dropouts or those who have not been able to attend any schooling at all to finish their primary or secondary education through non-traditional ways of schooling. This means after passing the ALS A & E Test, you will be considered a grade school or a high school graduate, depending on the test you took, and will be eligible to apply for college.
Where can I take ALS classes?
You can take ALS classes at Community Learning Centers (CLCs). These CLCs can be public elementary or high schools, barangay halls, rooms or buildings lent by government agencies or private companies and organizations, or any other open space where learners can gather together.
How can I enroll for an ALS class?
Just drop by at the nearest public elementary school, high school, or barangay hall at your place and they will tell you what to do.
What are the requirements?
The minimum requirements for enrolling in ALS classes are birth certificates and Forms 137 (Applies to people who have attended at least a year of formal schooling).
Who conducts ALS classes?
ALS A & E classes are conducted by licensed teachers employed by the Department of Education. Livelihood classes, on the other hand, are conducted by professional practitioners of the vocational courses they are teaching.
How long do ALS classes last?
ALS A & E classes take a minimum of 800 hours to complete. These may last from eight to ten months, although the duration may vary depending on the progress of the learners.
Are we required to enroll in the ALS A & E classes before we can take the ALS A & E test?
Attending the ALS A & E classes is optional, so it’s up to the student whether he would attend them first or take the exam right away. ALS coordinators strongly encourage students to go through them first so they can catch up on the things they might have missed out on, though.
Is there an age limit for taking the ALS A & E test?
Except for the minimum age requirement of 11 years old for elementary dropouts and 15 years old for high school dropouts, anyone can take the ALS A & E Test regardless of age.
Where can I register for the Alternative Learning System Accreditation and Equivalency Test 2012?
We have posted a partial list of the Registration and Testing Centers for the ALS A & E Test 2012. For the rest of the RTCs, please contact the Bureau of Alternative Learning System or the Department of Education for more information.
Are ALS classes and livelihood programs for free?
Yes, they are. The cost of the teachers’ fees/honorarium as well as the instructional materials used for the classes are all provided by the Department of Education with the help of private groups and individuals, so students are no longer supposed to pay for anything.
What if I didn’t make it to the deadline for registration this year, can I still take the ALS A & E Test next year?
Yes, you can. The test is usually held on the month of October and registration closes a few months before that, so you might want to prepare the things you might need several months in advance.
What do ALS students study?
ALS A & E classes cover five categories: Communication Skills (English and Filipino), Problem Solving and Critical Thinking (Science and Mathematics), Sustainable Use of Resources and Productivity, Development of Self and a Sense of Community, and Expanding One’s Own World Vision.
What kind of learning materials do they use for ALS A & E classes?
ALS A & E classes use modules specifically designed for students of the program. These modules, which cover the five categories mentioned above, may be studied at the Community Learning Center or taken home for self-study purposes should the student be unable to attend the class. You can find some samples of those modules on the Bureau of Alternative Learning’s website.
What is the difference between ALS A & Classes and ALS A & E Test?
The ALS A & E Test aims to assess the level of competency of the test-taker. By taking the ALS A & E Test, a test-taker can prove whether he or she is just as competent as any elementary or high school graduate and, thus, should be given an elementary or high school diploma without going through the traditional process.
The ALS A & E classes, on the other hand, serve as a refresher course that aims to help ALS students catch up on the things they’ve missed or might have forgotten before taking the ALS A & E Test.
Will I be able to pursue a college degree after I passed the ALS A & E Test for high school dropouts?
Yes, you can. Once you’ve gotten your ALS certificate that certifies that you have the same competencies as those of a traditional high school graduate, you can apply for any two, three, four, or five-year degree programs at any school, college, or university in the Philippines.
What would happen if I passed the ALS A & E Test for elementary dropouts?
After you’ve gotten your ALS certificate that certifies that you have the same competencies as those of a traditional elementary school graduate, you will be eligible for admission to any secondary school of your choice.
Where can I find the results of the ALS A & E Test?
DepEd posts the results of the test on their official website, so try to check it for updates every once in a while. Results are usually released before summer starts, so you might want to keep an eye on their site around that time.
How can I contact the Bureau of Alternative Learning System?
You can contact BALS through telephone numbers (02) 635-5193 or (02) 635-5188 or you can also send them a text message through the DETxt Action Center at 0919-4560027. Fax requests may be sent at (02)635-5189.
Alternatively, you can also call the nearest DepEd office for your ALS-related inquiries. You can also visit any public elementary/high school or barangay hall nearest you.
Courses in the Philippines would like to express its gratitude to Mrs. Norma J. Ayala, ALS District Coordinator of the East District of Lucena City; and Mr. Arvin Severa, ALS District Coordinator of the South District of Lucena City, for sharing their time and knowledge with us. We would not have been able to write this article without their help.
Last Modified: August 24, 2012