THE Alternative Learning System (ALS) is offered in Senior High School (SHS) giving opportunities to learners who cannot go to formal schooling but are interested to finish basic education (BE).

Basic education is referred to here as the K to 12 curriculum or the Kindergarten to Grade 12 Basic Education Program.

This SHS ALS is equivalent to Grade 11-12, and it ensures that all learners will be equipped with competencies required for employment, entrepreneurship, middle-level skills, and tertiary education.

The Department of Education (DepEd) Davao Region has opened 55 public schools offering SHS ALS. It is recorded that Davao Region has the most number of implementing schools in the country. It can also be recognized that in the last five years, Davao Region has always been on top in the A&E (Accreditation & Equivalency) Test.

The ALS A&E Assessment and Certification is a process that comprises an exam and other appropriate assessments to measure the competencies acquired by ALS learners based on the ALS K to 12 BE curriculum.

Completers of ALS who are passers of the A&E Test are given official document that certifies their competencies as comparable graduates of the formal education system.

Under DepEd Order No. 27, series 2018, beginning school year 2018-2019 and for subsequent school years, passers of previous A&E Tests (high school level), and of November 2017, March 2018, and February and March 2019 A&E Tests (high school level), who are all high school graduates of the old BE curriculum for ALS, are eligible to enroll in college or university as First Year students, or take skills development training programs, or enroll in SHS at any public school or private school of their choice.

In 2019, through DepEd Order 13, series 2019, DepEd mandated the inclusion of the SHS level in the ALS Program.

This is further strengthened with the passage of Republic Act No. 11510 (ALS Act) in December 2020, where it is emphasized that A&E Test Elementary level passers are qualified to enroll in Junior High School (JHS); A&E Test JHS level passers are qualified to enroll in SHS or in selected technical vocational education and training programs through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda); and A&E Test SHS level passers are qualified to enroll in higher education, or in technical vocational education and training programs through Tesda.

DepEd has intensified its programs through ALS in SHS. This allows the JHS ALS completers especially those who are underprivileged to continue their education and not be part of the growing number of out-of-school youths.

The institutionalization of SHS ALS Program paved the way to cater to the needs of the learners and provide opportunities for them to acquire vocational and technical skills which enhance their work readiness and increase their employability.

In the launching at RELC-NEAP on November 24, Regional Director (RD) Allan G. Farnazo underscored the importance of giving options to our learners. He said when we give alternatives, we open more chances and opportunities.

Assistant RD Maria Ines C. Asuncion also highlighted how ALS has helped many of our out-of-school youths and underprivileged learners. The SHS ALS gives hope to all their dreams in life.

During the launch, Assistant Secretary G.H.S. Ambat, who serves as Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones’s lead Executive Committee official in strengthening and expanding the implementation of the ALS Program nationwide, together with Director Marilette R. Almayda, Director of the Bureau of ALS, came to give their support to the implementing schools.

DepEd Davao Region has also established the Regional ALS Center located at its RELC-NEAP facility under the management of Dr. Maricel Langahid, the ALS regional focal person.

For this school year, about 3,675 are enrolled in the ALS SHS implementing schools.

In Davao City, Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School (NHS), Davao City NHS, Sta. Ana NHS, Bernardo Carpio NHS, Baguio National School of Arts and Trades, Marilog HS of Agriculture, Mintal Comprehensive NHS, Crossing Bayabas NHS, Calinan NHS, and Bangoy NHS are offering the SHS ALS.

Davao del Sur schools such as Barayong NHS, Davao del Sur School of Fisheries, Hagonoy NHS, Matanao NHS, Padada NHS, Pedro Arches NHS, Sta. Cruz NHS, Sulop NHS, and Digos City’s Digos City NHS all have 563 enrollees.

La Filipina NHS, Pipisan Maug NHS, and Tagum City Regional Academy Senior High in Tagum City and Panabo City’s Panabo City SHS are ready to implement the program.

In Davao Occidental, Mariano Peralta NHS and Demolok Valley NHS and Davao de Oro’s Gabi NHS, Maragusan NHS are also counted.

Manuel B. Guinez Sr. NHS, Lupon Vocational HS, Tibanban NHS, Crispin E. Rojas NHS, Cateel Vocational HS in Davao Oriental are among the implementing schools.

Davao del Norte has 12 schools namely Carmen NHS, Antonio V. Fruto Sr. NHS, Sto. Tomas NHS, Linao NHS, Igangon Integrated School, Dujali NHS, Asuncion NHS, Sawata NHS, Salvacion NHS, Datu Balong NHS, Pinamuno NHS, Tulalian NHS with 859 enrollees all in all.

In the Island Garden City of Samal, Nieves Villarica NHS, Nieves Villarica NHS TVL Department, Mambago-B NHS, Samal Stand Alone Senior High, San Jose NHS, Anonang NHS, Kaputian NHS, Diosdado Alloro NHS, Sta. Cruz NHS are also offering the program.

Soon, more public schools will be implementing the SHS ALS program.