PLANNING, PROGRAMMING, BUDGETING AND SYSTEM ANALYSIS: Alternative Learning System (ALS) Incentive Programs
Alternative Learning System Incentive Program “Improving the Current ALS Program of theEleven Hinterland Barangays in the 1st District of Cagayan de Oro City.” By: Roderico Y. Dumaug, Jr. Asmia Mira-ato Gemma Pajayon Jay Lovette Torejas Jim Ibanez A Presentation for PA 206 - P.P.B.S. under Professor Neogen M. Chaves
Introduction The Alternative Learning System or ALS is a parallel learning system thatprovides a viable alternative to the existing formal education instruction (Guerrero,2007, p. 2). It is a program by the Department of Education (DepEd), through itsBureau of Alternative Learning System that helps disabled people, cultural minoritymembers, out-of-school youth, former inmates and/or rebels, industry-based workers,and others who cannot afford or missed the opportunity to go through formalelementary and secondary schooling. It was first called Non-Formal Education when it began in 1984. Its main focusback then was to help its students acquire technical skills that they can use forlivelihood. Its focus diversified after its name was changed into Alternative LearningSystem in 2004. It now includes literacy classes that are aimed at eventually offeringelementary and high school diplomas to students who have the same above-mentionedbackgrounds.Legal Foundations The source of the ALS educational system can be traced to the basic andfundamental law of the land. The 1987 Philippine Constitution provides for a free andcompulsory elementary education and free secondary education through DepEd. Also,the Governance of the Basic Education Act of 2001, which is also known as Republic ActNo. 9155, dictates that it is the primordial duty of the State, through DepEd to promoteand protect the right of the citizens to quality education and shall initiate steps to ensurethe accessibility of education to all. Among many of its provisions, this law recognizesALS as a “complement of formal education and a major component of basic educationwith a clearly defined role within the overall educational goals (Guerrero, 2007, p. 9).” The Executive Order 356 of 2004 renamed DepEd’s Bureau of Non-FormalEducation to the Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS). Not only does thisOrder repeat the bureau’s mandate to address the learning needs of marginalizedlearners, but it also directs BALS to provide a systematic and flexible approach to reachall types of learners outside the school system.
In the 80’s, the global community launched a campaign called Education for All(EFA) that aimed to eradicate illiteracy and promote functional literacy for all peoples ofthe world by the year 2015. The Philippines was a signatory to this and as such,committed to providing education for all Filipinos and resulted to the formulation andadoption of the Philippine EFA 2015. The goal is to have in place a credible ALS that willincrease functional literacy among the marginalized groups of learners. The country also affirmed its commitment in reducing poverty and any form ofhuman deprivation as outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals(MDG), which is also aimed to be attained by the year 2015. DepEd is primarily taskedto implement the 2nd major goal of the MDG which is to achieve universal education. In summary, the EFA plan for 2015 distributes urgent tasks that will guideDepEd in fulfilling the spirit of RA 9155 and EO 356, and ultimately the vision of the1987 Philippine Constitution. It embodies the various programs, projects, and activitiesnecessary to achieve the goal of quality ALS for all marginalized Filipino learners.ALS in Cagayan de Oro City DepEd, in close coordination with the city government of Cagayan de Oro,implemented the program of ALS in the city and aims to attain the indicators and goalsof Education for All (EFA) 2015 and of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Since2007, the city government, as part of its implementation strategy, has been conductingadvocacy socialization and mobilization in all its Barangays through the ALSCoordinators in order to determine the number of out-of-school youth, illiterates, andschool leavers. Massive information campaigns were conducted. Consultations andmeetings were also initiated discussing the importance and benefits that may be derivedfrom the literacy program by focusing on the empowerment of the learner and of his/herpotentials towards personal growth as he/she participates in the development of his/hercommunity. As a beneficiary of technical assistance from World Bank through the League ofCities of the Philippines (LCP), the city government has formulated its own CityDevelopment Strategy (CDS), which serves as the guide in implementing its various
programs and projects. The ALS ranked third among the top priority programs andprojects reflected in the CDS. Various City Ordinances, Resolutions, Executive Orders and others were passedand issued to support the implementation of ALS. Through the Local School Board(LSB), all the Barangays in Cagayan de Oro City are major stakeholders supporting thevarious local departments and offices assigned by law to attain the goals of the program. The local Special Education Fund (SEF) and other available resources of the citygovernment provides certain appropriation to support the program through theconstruction of training venues, the salaries of the employees, coordinators andteachers, acquisition of equipments and supplies, and others. The ALS program was implemented in the 57 urbanized and 23 rural Barangaysin Cagayan de Oro City since 2007. Of the Barangays covered, the program faced someproblems especially in the 11 hinterland Barangays of the 1 st Congressional District ofCagayan de Oro City. These Barangays are agricultural areas and have a relatively higherincidence of poverty and unemployment. These are: Pagalungan, Tagpangi, Taglimao,Tuburan, Pigsag-an, Tumpagon, Bayanga, Mambuaya, Dansolihon, Tignapoloan andBesigan. These are the areas we are focusing on in our P.P.B.S. paper and presentation.The Problem The ALS in our paper is meant to reduce the illiteracy rate in the said localities byproviding an alternative avenue for achieving a high school equivalent diploma amongthe illiterate adult population through its existing adult specific curriculum. We aredoing this by introducing our own incentive program. The adverse issues confronting the implementation of the program in the fringeBarangays of Cagayan De Oro are the low rate of participation among the illiterate adultpopulation and the low level of survival and/or retention among those who choose toparticipate. Rough estimates in the concerned areas indicate very low participation inthe ALS program. Of those who avail of it, only very few actually commit to graduate.Insofar as the goal of attaining the highest participation among the total number of
potential beneficiaries is concerned, the ALS program translates into a dismalpercentage of the estimated success rate. On closer assessment, the identified causes for this mediocre success rate appearto be the lack of incentives to avail of or sustain participation to the ALS program due toeconomic constraints. These constraints are characterized as follows: 1) Participation in ALS education implies unacceptable daily income loses among potential participants. In the fringe hinterland localities where incomes are hardly sufficient to meet minimum daily living costs, participation during school days will mean abdicating daily incomes needed to insure the provision of basic living needs like the day’s food supply. 2) ALS Participation also implies incurring added education related costs. While enrolment, facilities and learning materials are free, travel costs and other miscellaneous allowances are required to insure that participants are physically present and who’s mental and health dispositions are conducive to learning. Sustaining these costs for repeated learning sessions are often enough to deter potential participants.Scope and Limitation of the Paper There is a wide choice of perspectives and plenty of levels to approach ALS as atopic. In this paper, the existing ALS program we are attempting to improve using ourversion of the same are the following eleven hinterland fringe Barangays in the 1stCongressional District of Cagayan de Oro City: Pagalungan, Tagpangi, Taglimao,Tuburan, Pigsag-an, Tumpagon, Bayanga, Mambuaya, Dansolihon, Tignapoloan andBesigan. Our focus customers here are the resident adults (18 years old and above) inthe said areas. The ALS’ Assessment and Evaluation phase, Accreditation andEquivalency processes (ALS A & E), livelihood programs, and its curriculum are onlypart of the paper as an assumption that they are there, functioning as they should.Because our topic is not focused on them, they are not discussed here. And of course wethink they are very important since we are drawing our strategies from the existingoverall mechanism of how the ALS program works. We are asking the questions, “How
do we increase the participants and make them commit to actually finish the program?”and “How do we motivate those employed or volunteered directly in the ALS program toparticipate and meet their objectives?” These are the concerns that this group isattempting to manage.Figure 1 shows the Strategic Framework of the proposed ALS Incentive Program. The focus of our P.P.B.S. is to add a set of incentives to continually help improvethe mechanisms that operate ALS. The Planning, Programming, and Budgeting are atwork separately along this framework. It is our desire that this model will cascadesmoothly to our target learners.Vision: Substantial reduction of illiteracy among adults in the fringe Barangays ofCagayan de Oro City through the Alternative Learning System and where human dignityis restored thereby resulting to personal growth and community development.
Mission To improve the ALS’s participation and completion rate among the illiterate adultpopulation in the concerned areas of Cagayan de Oro City through the participationincentive program.Figure 2 shows the S.W.O.T. Analysis for the proposed ALS Incentive Program. The program’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats will helpclarify the present situation and strategies that can be developed out from them, and willdetermine the salient indicators of success, the abilities of the program managers andstakeholders and the available skills and resources. The S.W.O.T. Analysis conducted isgrounded on knowing “Where the program is now?” and in identifying “What are thestrategies needed to attain its goals?” The Strengths and Weaknesses are inside factorswithin the control of those involved in the ALS organization (inside environment). They
are: Strategy, Structure, System, Staff, Skills, Style, and Shared values. On the otherhand, Opportunities and Threats are outside influences that impact the ALSorganization (outside environment). They are: Political, Economic, Social,Technological, Environmental, and Legal.Strategies inside the S.W.O.T. matrix (Dr. Ed Morato): S and O are strategies that should be executed, given that the Strengths andOpportunities are there. W and O asks the question, "How can we use our Opportunitiesto offset or even reverse our Weaknesses?" S and T asks the question "How can we useour Strengths to offset or even reverse our Threats?" W and T is the combination ofWeaknesses and Threats. It shows that they are part of the organizations identity sinceno organization is perfect. Because these factors cannot be fixed, it contains strategiesthat manage or minimize the damage caused by them.Figure 3 shows the organizational structure of the proposed ALS Incentive Program.
Figure 4 shows the Strategy Map of the proposed ALS Incentive Program. The objectives shown in the map have a causal relationship as traced by arrowsalong each of the different functions in the ALS Incentive Program, namely: FinancialPerspective, Learning and Growth, Internal Process, and Client Perspective. As you cansee, the goals here are Increase Participation, Increase Completion, and DecreaseIlliteracy. And each of these is supported by our proposed incentives. The Balanced Scorecard in Figure 5 below will elaborate on the differentincentives mentioned in this paper so far. It will also describe how the objectives fromdifferent functions in the ALS Incentive Program can be achieved by concentrating onand satisfying its three parts: Measures, Targets, and Initiatives. The BalancedScorecard will be a helpful guide in carrying out the functions of each member of ALS inhelping themselves and their learners keep motivated and be on track towards achievingtheir goals.
Conclusion While this group acknowledges the current efforts made by the LGU’s, DepEd, BALS,and ALS in their cooperation and hardwork, the daily operations to help reduce illiteracy inthe involved barangays is still far from what they should be. Our emphasis here, as alreadymentioned, is the introduction and proper management of an incentive program in the ALSprogram. As what we have presented, we believe this would optimize the operations in eachstep and level of the program. And thus, in the long run, the reduction and even totalelimination of illiteracy is then achieved. It is our hope that this P.P.B.S. be part of the manyconsiderations that may help the functions of the current ALS program.