DepEd’s Alternative Learning System, or ALS, is a parallel learning system that runs alongside the formal school system and is specifically designed to serve illiterate, neoliterate, and out-of-school youth and adults. There are many reasons children and youth drop out of the formal school system: some fall pregnant early and are no longer able to attend regular classes, some may need to help their families by getting a job, and others may have experienced learning difficulties falling behind their peers and simply losing motivation to learn. ALS is a viable alternative for these people, and many more besides, should they wish to continue and complete their education.
ALS offers free, flexible, and inclusive education programs, beginning with the Basic Literacy Programs aimed at those people who cannot yet read and write with fluency, through to the Elementary and Secondary Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Programs. ALS implementers conduct classes in Community Learning Centers, as well as in barangay halls, local parishes, and even in people’s own homes. The ALS implementer and his/her learner will work together to construct a learning program tailored to meet the individual’s educational needs and goals. This includes the development of a learning schedule that fits in around the learner’s work and home life. The ALS year begins in January and concludes at the end of October.