The Alternative Method of Delivering Knowledge

by Anacita G. Bongngat
Edited by Marciano A. Paroy, Jr.
Imparting knowledge, in its traditional way, would involve the use of the classroom
where a teacher stands in front and dispenses the day’s lesson which is normally the
synthesis of existing materials in the textbook or other reference materials. This scenario
presents a formal setting where learners are supposed to come into the learning
environment, like Amlao Elementary School, and stay there within an allotted period, until
dismissal.
That situation is quite easy to assimilate. But in the eventuality that we bring out the
teaching task and deliver it into a different environment – like the Bureau of Jail
Management and Penology (BJMP) – then we’re instantly applying a method which is out
of the usual. This delivery mode of instruction is called the Alternative Learning
System(ALS), as it is formally named in the listing of beneficial programs developed by the
Department of Education.
It is beneficial because the system identifies a certain community or a grouping of
individuals who can still be embraced by the teaching-learning initiatives of DepEd, as long
as the identified group will be willing to absorb the lessons that DepEd is ready to impart
by way of the ALS teachers that the department has trained for such purposes.
Still, the situation calls for the intervention of what is known as the linkage factor, or
partnership of concerned agencies and organizations. In the case of the inmates who are
serving time within prison, or at least while waiting for their cases to be heard and be
decided upon by the courts – then an agreement has to be entered into by BJMP
management and DepEd through the Bureau of Alternative Learning Systems (BALS).
This points to the importance of training that ALS teachers should be subjected to.
ALS teachers in Kalinga, needless to say, have taken advantage of the advbanced training
that they have been sent to – and as a result, their students have been benefitting as well
from said experiences.
The BJMP, as a concrete example, is far from the usual ALS communities like outof-school youths or disadvantaged women in the rural areas. BJMP automatically brings
the teacher face-to-face with inmates who have yet to be reforming, or at least on the way
to recovery, through the time they are spending inside the prison. One way by which they
could indeed be transformed is to offer educational advancement, especially for those who
have not graduated from high school.
In addition, bringing educational services inside BJMP through ALS can be seen as
the social responsiveness of both BJMP and DepEd, since the program identifies the
inmates as normal human beings who should not also be deprived of common social
services that others enjoy. In this way, their way back into the folds of the society will be
hastened, so that by the time that they have been reformed as citizens, then they also
have additional skills that they may have learned, complete with a diploma in secondary
education.
All in all, this experience will help mold the learners as productive individuals, while
on the other hand, it raises the standards of Dep-Ed, through BALS, in its capacity to look
after the learning needs of anybody, as long as there is willingness to be upgrades, to
change, to learn.