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Reflections on the Alternative Learning System

by Anacita G. Bongngat

As a teacher who was fortunate enough to be immersed in the strange world


of Alternative Education, I can say that anyone who will be involved in the system
will have an experience of a lifetime. While the experience is a side-journey to the
informal version of the teaching-learning process, it can significantly contribute to a
teachers overall enhancement as an educator.

Teaching in the Alternative Learning System is an Eye-Opener. Lets


face it: the society is not populated by people who are equal on all aspects. There
will always be individuals who were somewhat left behind at some point in their
lives, due to a variety of reasons that range from personal and family issues to
society-based influences that disrupted their smooth acquisition of education.

The ALS Strengthens our Ability in Dealing with Learners Individual


Capabilities. Teaching under the system will provide an ALS teacher with a
realistic opportunity to differentiate the abilities and intellectual levels of each
individual learner. This is very helpful when the teacher eventually joins the formal
learning system because the flexibility that was acquired as an ALS teacher will
then be extended further inside the structured classroom of the K-12 system.

The System Connects DepEd to the Marginalized Sector. By just looking


at the profiles of the enrollees under ALS, one can immediately appreciate the
efforts of the Department of Education to reach out to as many people as possible,
as long as they have the willingness and desire to learn.

Teaching in the Alternative Learning System is a Great Personality


Enhancer. It cannot be denied that the experience will really modify the personality
of a teacher. If, for instance, we were intently attuned to the application of methods
as religiously as possible, then becoming an ALS teacher will turn the teacher to
the truth that there are learners who are accommodated by DepEd in a very
accommodating manner. Naturally, this will affect our other values like patience,
kindness and even generosity.

Again, as a teacher who actually conducted ALS classes in various learning


environments, I shall always give credits to the Alternative Learning System for
instilling in me some very important realizations about teaching as a profession,
and the most significant is the basic rule: Love our learners.