Alternative learning system bill gets nod

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed the bill that seeks to institutionalize the Alternative Learning System (ALS), which was earlier pushed by Pampanga Third District Representative Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales, Jr.

Under the Alternative Learning System Act or Republic Act No. 11510, the Department of Education (DepEd), in consultation with the Department of Budget and Management and the Civil Service Commission, will create teaching positions and allocate corresponding salary grades to help strengthen the ALS Teachers Program.

Principally authored by Gonzales, House Bill No. 6910 or the Alternative Learning System Act was approved with 224 affirmative votes, no negative votes and no abstention in the House of Representatives.

“It is the reality that not everyone can afford to go to school and attend daily class sessions without sacrificing other basic necessities in life. There are many Filipino children who have to find food first above anything else, including education,” Gonzales said.

“With the approval of this bill, we are one step closer in giving equal opportunity for learners to avail themselves of systematic and flexible alternative basic education program outside of the formal school system,” he added.

House Bill No. 6910, initially filed by Gonzales during the 17th Congress, institutionalizes the ALS as a parallel learning system to provide a viable alternative to the existing formal education instruction for out-of-school children, youth, and adult learners, including Madrasah and indigenous peoples, to develop basic and functional literacy, life skills, and pursue an equivalent pathway to complete basic education.

The bill also establishes at least one ALS Community Learning Center in every municipality and city in the country. It likewise creates the Bureau of Alternative and Lifelong Education, which would serve as the focal office for the implementation of the ALS programs under the DepEd.


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