Establishment of School-Based Alternative Learning System Community Learning Centers (ALS-CLC)

Attached is an Aide Memoire from DepEd Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua on the Establishment of School-Based Alternative Learning System Community Learning Centers (ALS-CLC).

RATIONALE

The Alternative Learning System (ALS) is a parallel learning system that provides a viable option to the existing formal education instruction. It encompasses both formal and informal sources of knowledge to reach out to learners who were not able to complete their basic education in the traditional classroom-based setting. This is pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2, Paragraph (1) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which states that “the State shall establish, maintain and support a complete, adequate and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society;” and paragraph (4) which “encourages non-formal, informal and indigenous learning systems as well as self-learning, independent and out-of-school study programs particularly those that respond to community needs.”

The thrust of ALS as a non-formal education system extends beyond teaching numeracy and literacy skills. It is anchored on building life skills, enhancing tech-vocational capacities, providing skill-based training and capacity-building opportunities for its learners. This sets ALS apart from the traditional classroom-based form of education because it requires a wider intersectoral approach to adequately equip its target learners with the skills and capacities to improve their quality of life and to ensure their work readiness or employability upon completion of the program. As such, it is imperative to also provide corresponding facilities and learning environments which will cater to the expansion of ALS including the ALS K-12 Basic Education Curriculum.

To further support the expansion of the scope of ALS and ensure adequate, timely, and quality attention and support to the basic learning needs of out-of-school children in special cases and adult learners including indigenous peoples, Republic Act No. 11510 otherwise known as “An Act Institutionalizing the Alternative Learning System in Basic Education for Out-of-School Children in Special Cases and Adults and Appropriating Funds Therefor” was enacted in December 2020. The passage of RA 11510 is a big step forward for the Department’s campaign that no learner sho left behind.

The passage of RA 11510 formally links Community Learning Centers to a national policy that will respond to the evolving needs of ALS learners. Section 4 of RA 11510 has formally defined Community Learning Centers as “a physical space to house learning resources and facilities of a learning program for out-of-school children in special cases and adults. It is a venue for face-to-face learning activities and other learning opportunities for community development and improvement of the people’s quality of life.”

ALS classes are currently being held in Community Learning Centers, barangay multi-purpose halls, libraries, or at home. These are managed by ALS learning facilitators, such as mobile teachers, district ALS coordinators, and instructional managers at an agreed-upon schedule and venue by the learners and facilities. The purpose of setting ALS in a local community is established on the premise that local participation plays a key role in ensuring that national policies and programs respond to local realities. This also suggests a sense of local ownership and active participation from the communities. On the other hand, situating CLCs in schools fosters better monitoring and maintenance of the facilities and makes it easier to mobilize the implemented programs under the ALS. School-based CLCs heighten the involvement of the formal school institution in making sure that the objectives of the programs are being met.

CURRENT STATE OF COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTERS

To date, there are 25,219 ALS Community Learning Centers across the country. However, only about 1,000 of these are considered conducive learning environments. The majority of existing CLCs are simple (with a table, chairs, and chalkboard), temporary, makeshift, and often times, shared spaces. They can be small chapels or multipurpose facilities, or spaces owned or managed by the barangay or by private individuals.

Studies have shown that providing conducive learning environments for ALS positively impacts the performance of its learners—from enrollment, completion, and passing the Accreditation and Equivalency Test. Further, the inclusion of Learning Strand 6 – Digital Citizenship and addition of higher competencies in English, Science, and Math in the ALS K- 12 Basic Education Curriculum, makes it necessary to construct school-based CLCs that are ICT-enabled and equipped with technical-vocational laboratories.

Acknowledging the expansion of the ALS also entails making sure that the learning environment can keep up with the new demands and objectives of the program. This calls for the attention to prioritize establishing school-based ALS Community Learning Centers because the success of the expansion of ALS and its other implemented programs is heavily influenced by the facilities provided for its learners. Moreover, establishing CLCs which are responsive to the evolving needs of the learners will make it easier to mainstream other expansions in the future.

TARGET COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTERS

Consistent with other Department-implemented projects, priority is given to the target segment which requires more immediate help. In the case of establishing CLCs, Section 13 of RA 11510 highlights the prioritization of areas where there is limited access to formal basic education or higher concentration of out-of-school children in special cases, or adults lacking basic literacy skills or have dropped out of formal school, or both. As such, the initial target is to establish 1 CLC for every legislative district which will also serve as hubs for other ALS units in the district.

The strategic target is to have 1 CLC for every city and town which corresponds to a total of 1,883 target learning centers to be established in identified priority schools.

For 2022, as part of the legacy of the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the 18th Congress, it is hereby proposed that the ALS-CLC priority target may appropriately begin with 1 CLC per legislative district or a total of 243 ALS-CLCs.

PURPOSE AND DESIGN OF THE SCHOOL-BASED CLC

The school-based ALS-CLC is envisioned to be a multipurpose facility that may be used as a venue for the conduct of ALS classes, tech-vocational workshops, a training center for both ALS and formal schoolteachers, and other ALS-related activities. Further, it can also be used during emergencies.

As such, the Administration and Climate Change Emergency Storage and Shelter (ACCESS) building design is hereby adopted for the construction of school-based ALS-CLCs, particularly because the building design is a stand-alone two-storey building with space equivalent to four standard classrooms. Roof Deck instead of the regular roofing design is made for this building to maximize the use of the structure given the limited space for the CLC hub. Other co-curricular activities can be conducted in this area and may also serve as emergency evacuation during calamities.

The option to use the same structure during calamities and emergencies for the safekeeping of equipment and materials all the more strengthens the resolve to use this design for the school-based ALS-CLCs. The Gabaldon theme of the ACCESS building emphasizes the role of facilities in promoting and advancing public education. (add more justifications)

The perspective and floor plans are attached as Annex A to this aide-memoire.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF CLCs

A. Land Requirement

The construction of the school-based ALS-CLC will require a total of 250 square meters of land area. The location of the CLC should be separate from the main school. Thus, in the selection of schools where these CLC hubs will be constructed the following must be considered:

  1. School site must be under the name and ownership of DepEd thru acceptable forms of ownership or Usufruct Agreement with the LGU;
  2. School has a big land area that can accommodate the land requirement of the CLC without sacrificing the requirements of the main school and its Site Development Plan; and
  3. Specific site selected for the CLC should ensure the provision of its separate access area and perimeter fence and gate.

These criteria are added to the requirements of the law. Section 13 of RA 11510 highlights the prioritization of areas where there is limited access to formal basic education or higher concentration of out-of-school children in special cases, or adults lacking basic literacy skills, or have dropped out of formal school, or both.

B. Budgetary Requirement

The construction of school-based ALS-CLCs, and the provision of supplies and equipment is estimated to amount to P25,000,000.00 per unit. Annex B outlines the items covered by this budget.

To cover all the legislative districts, about P6.075 billion will be needed for FY2022 as part of the legacy of the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the 18th Congress.

It is hereby proposed that the P6.075 billion be appropriated for School-based ALS-CLCs to DepEd in the same manner and similar to the appropriation for the Last Mile Schools (LMS) in the General Appropriations Act of 2020 and 2021. The preparation of the list and identification of schools, the manner of implementation, the scope of construction, and other inclusions will follow the same provisions and details mentioned in the budget law on LMS.

OFFICES INVOLVED

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for ALS, the ALS Task Force, the Office of the Undersecretary for Administration, and the Education Facilities Division will be involved in this project.

PERSPECTIVE AND FLOOR PLAN OF THE PROPOSED SCHOOL-BASED ALS COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTERS

The design for the proposed school-based ALS Community Learning Centers will adopt the Administration and Climate Change Emergency Storage and Shelter (ACCESS) building design. Shown below are the perspective and the floor plans.

PROPOSED SCHOOL-BASED ALS COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTERS

SCHOOL-BASED ALS-CLC BUDGET ESTIMATE (PER SITE)

PARTICULARSCOST
Building Construction16,200,000.00
Perimeter Fence and Gate2,000,000.00
Solar Panel Setup (16kw solar PV energy system for 4 classrooms)5,250,000.00
Furniture (Tables, Chairs, Laboratory Sets, Cabinets, etc.275,000.00
ICT Equipment (Computers/Laptops, Television, Printer, Projector, Schools-in-a-Bag Packages)1,150,000.00
Other Equipment and Materials125,000.00
TOTAL25,000,000.00

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