After failure of many examinees to reach the initial passing grade, the Department of Education has announced that it will lower the passing score for Alternative Learning System (ALS).
According to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, the cutoff percentage was decreased to 60% from the previous 70% for the November 2017 Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) out of fairness.
“This is to align the present test with previous standards, as well as to mitigate the unfairness to the examinees brought about by the circumstances mentioned,” said Briones.
She added that the same shall apply to the March 2018 examinations.
The said action was prompted after students and proponents of the program protested to DepEd over the record low passing rate. They also came up with the hashtag “DEPED_BeFair_to_ALS.”
The passing rate in 2017 came out at 16.5% for elementary level and 15.6% for Junior High School level. Last 2016, the passing rate was 38% for elementary students and 57% for high school students.
Briones admitted that the November 2017 test questions were more difficult than the previous one. For one, the language used in Math and Science questions was changed from Filipino to English. Meanwhile, the postponements in test administration widened the gap between ALS interventions and the actual exam with the ASL implementers not properly communicating the assessment changes.
Thus, the Education Secretary ordered the concerned DepEd officials to review the test standards and to consult experts and parties involved.
“I reiterate my, and the present administration’s commitment to intensify and expand the ALS programs in order to reach our out-of-school youth and adults who have failed to finish basic education and provide better opportunities for them,” she said.
The ALS aims to allow learners to have an alternative to formal schooling via a ‘parallel learning system.’ Passing it certifies the learner’s competencies comparable to graduates of forma school systems. This will also allow them to enroll in secondary and post-secondary schools.