21 November 2013 - The Philippine Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, in collaboration with the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS) and the ARK Bangkok Schoolhouse and Ministry Centre, facilitated the administration of the third Alternative Learning System (ALS) Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test in Bangkok from November 15 to 16.
Ms. Judy Mendoza of DepEd-BALS administered the test at the Embassy on November 16 with the assistance of volunteer Filipino teachers from the ARK Bangkok Schoolhouse.
There were 23 secondary level test-takers and four (4) elementary level test-takers. The oldest was 48 years old, while the youngest was 11 years old. The two came all the way from Cambodia. The rest were from Thailand. The results of the test are expected to be released in April 2013.
The ALS A&E Test is a standardized paper and pencil test designed to measure the aptitude and competencies of those who have neither attended nor finished formal elementary or secondary education. Passers of the test will receive a certification of learning achievement signed by the DepEd Secretary.
An elementary level test passer is qualified to enroll as freshman in the secondary level education. Examinees who pass the secondary level test qualify to join mainstream formal education in the Philippines. They may also enroll in post-secondary courses (technical/vocational, two/four/five-year course) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) member institutions; access to the Meralco Foundation Institute (MFI) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) skills training programs; and a chance to acquire eligibility for government employment positions.
Ms. Evangeline Boragay, who is in her late 40’s, missed out on formal schooling because she had to work as an overseas Filipino worker in Asia, the Middle East, Spain and the UK. According to her, she took the examinations to prove to herself that she can still finish schooling through ALS. She plans to enroll in a business administration course if she passes the ALS A&E.
Ms. Rachel Estrebilla flew to Bangkok from Cambodia just to take the test. Her father, Mr. Jose Estrebilla, a Filipino missionary based in Cambodia, said he fully supports the ALS A&E program as a means of helping students join mainstream formal schooling in the Philippines. Another examinee, Mr. Christopher Cabuyao, said he wants to finish an education degree and become a teacher. With ALS, age becomes irrelevant when it comes to furthering one’s educational attainment. END