New Adult Learning Opportunities in Manila

adult learning 5New adult learning opportunities are arising in Manila.  Each village is set to have its own alternative learning system for adult learners and youth who are not attending school.  This will happen if the local council passes the “Barangay (village) Alternative Learning System Ordinance,” instigated by Julienne Alyson Rae Medalla (fifth district councilor).  The ALS was established in 2001 under Republic Act 9155 as a ““parallel learning system to provide, viable, flexible and accessible learning opportunities to all out-of-school youth and adults in all villages across the country.” According to the Bureau of Alternative Learning System website, the ALS is the Department of Education’s free education program.  It is designed for people who cannot afford formal schooling where students need to attend 10 months/800 hours in the classroom with school furniture before they get their performance assessed.  So even if the schools are not fully equipped – and for example only have temporary furniture like folding tables and folding chairs – at least there will now be some opportunity that was missing in the past.  In addition, apart from giving the less-fortunate hope, it gives opportunities to school drop-outs, maids, industry-based workers, etc.

Los Angeles Bringing Back Adult Education After Years of Neglect

adult learning 2Years of budget cuts in California left behind an emaciated adult education program in Los Angeles. Now, as the economy is making a strong comeback, Los Angeles is planning on breathing new life into the adult education program provided by the LA Unified School system.

“We have to provide better adult learning opportunities,” said David Rattray, Senior Vice President of Education & Workforce Development for the L.A. Chamber of Commerce. “For the business community and the economy to have the talent they need, and for young adults and adults in L.A. to have the opportunity they deserve.”

The fuel propelling the adult education program forward is $25 million worth of competitive state grants. The money is to be used to reorganize the dormant program, supplying whatever supplies LA Unified needs, including everything from teachers to new classrooms and even new school chairs.

Before the economic crisis LA offered a large number of adult classes in many areas, including English, getting a GED, or learning a trade. But over the past four years the budget for adult education was cut by 70%. The result was 300,000 fewer adults furthering their educations. Today there are about 100,000 students in the adult education program in LA at a cost of about $100 million.