DepEd Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program

Education is a fundamental right, providing the cornerstone for growth and development in society. The Philippines has established the Department of Education‘s Alternative Learning System (ALS), taking into consideration the diverse needs and circumstances of its people, and offering a source of hope for Filipinos who are unable to pursue formal studies.

Credits: DepED ALS 2.0 / Facebook

What is the DepEd Alternative Learning System?

The Alternative Learning System is a lifeline for individuals who find formal studies inaccessible. It’s a parallel learning system designed to cater to those who, for various reasons, cannot attend traditional schools. 

This inclusive approach encompasses both non-formal and informal studies, ensuring that knowledge and skills are within reach for everyone. Through this program, learners of all ages are afforded the chance to complete basic education, paving the way for personal development and societal contribution.

The Need for ALS in the Philippines

The necessity of the Alternative Learning System in the Philippines stems from the reality that many Filipinos face barriers to completing formal basic education. Whether due to economic constraints, geographical isolation, or early dropout, the absence of learning opportunities limits potential. 

The government, in its commitment to learning for all, has thus introduced ALS as a versatile and accommodating educational model, ensuring that every Filipino can pursue learning tailored to their unique circumstances.

Legal Basis of the Program

The foundation of this initiative is firmly rooted in the Philippine Constitution and the Governance Act for Basic Education (Republic Act 9155). The 1987 Constitution underscores the state’s responsibility to provide a comprehensive, adequate, and integrated system of schooling. 

It highlights the importance of alternative forms of learning, including non-formal, informal, and indigenous learning systems. Republic Act 9155 further mandates the establishment of ALS, targeting out-of-school children, youth, and adults, reinforcing the country’s commitment to universal basic education.

How Does this Work?

The program is characterized by its flexibility and adaptability, offering two major programs: the Basic Literacy Program and the Continuing Education Program – Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E)


These programs are modular, allowing learners to study at their own pace and convenience. 

Education under ALS is facilitated through various community-based venues, making learning accessible and inclusive.

Formal vs. Non-Formal Education

The distinction between the formal education system and ALS’s non-formal learning approach lies in their delivery and management

Formal education is classroom-based, led by trained teachers, while ALS adopts a more flexible approach, utilizing community spaces and managed by program-specific facilitators. 

This difference highlights ALS’s commitment to reaching learners wherever they are, ensuring learning is not bound by the traditional classroom setting.


The benefits of the Alternative Learning System are manifold, offering a second chance at studying for many. It provides:

  • Accessibility: Education becomes reachable for those living in remote areas or with limited resources.
  • Flexibility: Learners can study at their own pace, accommodating their personal and professional commitments.
  • Inclusivity: ALS opens doors for learners of all ages, backgrounds, and circumstances, fostering a culture of lifelong learning.
  • Empowerment: Completing basic studies through ALS enhances employment opportunities, self-esteem, and societal participation.

Eligibility and Qualifications

ALS is open to anyone who lacks access to formal studies, including out-of-school youth and adults, regardless of age. The program is particularly aimed at those who wish to complete basic education and improve their quality of life.

Requirements for Enrollment

To enroll, potential learners must provide basic documentation, such as a birth certificate and any previous academic records, to assess their learning level and needs. Specific requirements may vary depending on the local education office.


Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for the Program

  • Inquiry: Contact your nearest Department of Education office or community learning center to inquire about ALS.
  • Assessment: Undergo an initial assessment to determine your educational level and the most suitable program.
  • Enrollment: Submit the necessary documents and officially enroll in the program.
  • Participation: Attend the learning sessions as per the schedule and complete the modules at your own pace.
  • Evaluation: Take the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test upon completion of the program to receive your certification.

After Graduation

Upon completing the program, you can:

  • Return to formal school.
  • Enroll in Senior High School.
  • Undergo training for middle or higher-level skills.
  • Seek employment.
  • Start your own business.

after graduation

Barangay Assistance

If you encounter difficulties enrolling in this program, reach out to your local Barangay office for guidance or direct assistance from the DepEd Schools Division Office.

barangay assistance

Becoming an ALS Learner

To become an ALS learner, you must undergo an assessment to gauge your current knowledge level. This involves taking the Functional Literacy Test (FLT) and the Assessment for Basic Literacy (ABL). These assessments help the ALS Learning Facilitator understand your needs and tailor an Individual Learning Agreement (ILA) that aligns with your learning objectives.

how to be an ALS learner

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

The program recognizes the knowledge and skills learners may already possess through formal or informal learning, work, or everyday experiences. This Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is part of the process of creating the ILA and should be included in the learner’s portfolio for the A&E Test assessment.


Duration of ALS Studies

The duration of study within the ALS program varies. The recent expansion of the program curriculum to align with the K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum means that the time needed to complete the program may be longer compared to the old one. However, the actual length of study depends on the learner’s educational background, previous learning level, and personal learning goals.

how long is the ALS program

The Individual Learning Agreement (ILA)

The ILA is a personalized study plan created for each learner in consultation with their ALS teacher. It outlines the learner’s studying goals, the strategies and activities to be used to achieve these, and a timeline for reaching them. The ILA is central to the ALS approach, ensuring that each learner’s journey is customized to their aspirations and circumstances.


Online Version of the Program

While some ALS teachers currently utilize online platforms such as Google Classroom, Edmodo, Quipper, and eSkwela to deliver learning, an official online version of the program is being developed. This will feature a robust Learning Management System (LMS) and secure assessment tools, making the program more accessible to learners across the country in the coming years.

online version of ALS

Senior High School (SHS) in ALS

This project now includes a Senior High School (SHS) program, which is being piloted in certain regions with plans to expand nationwide. This allows learners to pursue studies equivalent to grades 11 and 12 in the formal school system.


Voter Registration Not a Requirement

It is important to note that being a registered voter is not a prerequisite for enrolling in the program. The program is open to all Filipino citizens who have not completed their formal studies, and barangays are encouraged to support and accept out-of-school youth and adults into the program.

voter req

Special Considerations for OFWs

While there is no specific policy for online classes for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), interested individuals are encouraged to coordinate with the DepEd Schools Division Office for options upon returning to the Philippines.

for ofws

Success Stories / Recent Updates

Girls Education Center Opens in Palo, Leyte to Empower Out-of-School Girl-Learners

The Department of Education (DepEd), UNESCO Jakarta, and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) officially opened the Girls Education Center (GEC) in Palo, Leyte on September 14, 2023. The GEC serves as a one-stop educational hub, providing comprehensive support and opportunities for out-of-school girl-learners to improve their lives through continued learning and life skills training under the ALS Program in Tacloban City and nearby areas. Located within the DepEd Office VIII – Eastern Visayas compound in Brgy. Candahug, Palo, Leyte, the GEC aims to empower girls and promote education for all.

Record Enrollment of Out-of-School Youth and Adults in ALS for SY 2023-2024

As of September 20, 2023, a staggering 335,239 out-of-school youth and adults (OSYA) have enrolled in the Alternative Learning System across the Philippines. If you are an OSYA with aspirations of continuing your education in elementary, junior high school, or senior high school through this initiative, reach out directly to your barangay, the nearest Community Learning Center (CLC), or public schools in your area to get started on your learning journey.


Video: Opportunity to graduate for PDLs from elementary and junior high through DepEd’s ALS

Over 200 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) successfully completed their elementary and junior high school studies through the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System at the city jail in Kalunasan, Cebu City. The graduation ceremony, held on August 10, marked a significant milestone in providing learning opportunities and empowering PDLs to pursue a brighter future.



The Alternative Learning System is a testament to the Philippine government’s dedication to education for all. By bridging the gap between formal studies and those who find it out of reach, the program empowers individuals, enriches communities, and strengthens the nation. Whether you’re a learner seeking new opportunities or a supporter of inclusive learning, this initiative by the DepEd offers a path to growth, development, and fulfillment.


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