BALANGA CITY, Bataan -- It may had been easier for Lianne Rose Salita to just give up and end her dream of becoming a teacher.
She was a freshman in high school when her parents told her they could no longer afford to send her to school. She and her sibling had to sacrifice so that their eldest sister can continue studying. Not wanting to stay idle, she decided to do something worthwhile by peddling goods in the neighborhood and doing home chores to their relatives.
It was in 2009 when she decided to continue her studies. At 18 years old, she was rejected as an incoming high school student for being over-aged. However, that did not stop her from pursuing her ambition. Upon settling down in her father’s hometown in Balanga City, Lianne enrolled in the Alternative Learning System or ALS. She passed the ALS Accreditation and Equivalency Test in 2010 and consequently took up a degree in Education under a scholarship program. She was a consistent Dean’s Lister.
Three years ago, Lianne was the guest speaker of the ALS Graduation Ceremonies in Barangay Cupang West and sparked hope for her fellow ALS completers.
“Fellow graduates of ALS, there is hope for a person who wants to have a better life. Nakatawid na ako sa kahirapan. Sumunod sana kayo.I chose to be a teacher by profession because I know that I can make a difference by being a teacher,” Teacher Lianne shared.
ALS ensures that no one is left behind
The Alternative Learning System or ALS is a parallel learning system in the Philippines that provides a practical option to the existing formal instruction. When one does not have or cannot access formal education in schools, ALS is an alternate or substitute. ALS includes both the non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.
There are two major programs on ALS that are being implemented by the Department of Education, through the Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS). One is the Basic Literacy Program and the other is the Continuing Education Program – Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E). Both programs are modular and flexible. This means that learning can take place anytime and anyplace, depending on the convenience and availability of the learners.
Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations Jesus Mateo highlighted the rollout of the enhanced ALS curriculum, in line with the 10-point agenda of DepEd under the administration of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones.
“DepEd has been pursuing reforms in ALS in order for it to be aligned with the K to 12 curriculum in formal education. We are now rolling out the version 2.0 of ALS program which is substantially different from the existing one. There are changes in the system components, particularly in learning materials, learning delivery system, learning environment, learning assessment, certification system, and in the system support component,” Mateo said.
A living proof of ALS
Now a Literature teacher at the Balanga City National High School, Lianne exemplifies the persona of being a 21st century teacher. Armed with the zest and enthusiasm for teaching, she uses technology, self-made devices, and varied instructional materials to deliver her lesson and engage her students actively.
Amidst all the trials that Lianne faced before reaching her dreams, her faith did not falter as she created opportunities the world could not give her. As someone who seemed to have moved mountains just to earn her college diploma, Teacher Lianne is an inspiration to many students who are experiencing the same problems, and likewise a living proof that in ALS, there is indeed hope and endless possibilities. (PR)