Feasibility Study on Micro-certification for the Alternative Learning System (ALS), Philippines

The Assessment Research Centre (ARC), in partnership with the Assessment, Curriculum and Technology Research Centre (ACTRC) in the Philippines have been contracted by UNICEF to explore the feasibility of using micro-credentials for the Alternative Learning System (ALS). The ALS provides an alternate pathway to existing formal education, and is open to anyone who has not been able to complete basic education as mandated by the Philippine Constitution.

The research team will examine the feasibility and implications of introducing an alternate micro-certification system for ALS learners as a response to the challenges of the current Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) system in the ALS. The current A&E test is a high-stakes accreditation process run once a year which measures competencies acquired by ALS learners based on the ALS K – 12 Basic Education Curriculum.

The scope of work for this project includes a desk review of research to determine how micro-certification could be best implemented within the ALS to better meet the needs of ALS learners as well as employers. As part of the desk review, the research team will also identify local and international examples of the use of micro-certification in education settings. Consultations will be conducted with relevant stakeholders, including the Philippines Department of Education (DepEd), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and other education bodies to assess the feasibility of micro-certification for the ALS. The background research and consultations will inform the pilot testing with ALS learners across different regions in the Philippines. A final pilot report and roadmap will be delivered to inform policy recommendations regarding micro-certification in ALS.

The opportunity for the ARC and ACTRC to collaborate with UNICEF and DepEd to explore the potential of micro-certification for participants in ALS is an exciting endeavor. The project team anticipates that this work will be beneficial in developing approaches to the certification of competencies for ALS learners in the Philippines.

Project Team

Enterprise Professor Sandra Milligan, Project Director, University of Melbourne

Dr Marlene Ferido, Project Lead (Philippines), ACTRC, University of the Philippines

Dr Rebekah Luo, Project Lead (Australia), University of Melbourne

Lalaine Bagui, Researcher, ACTRC, University of the Philippines

Dr Bruce Beswick, Researcher, University of Melbourne

Louie Cagasan, Researcher, ACTRC, University of the Philippines

Julie Dela Cruz, Researcher, ACTRC, University of the Philippines

Technical advisers

Assistant Professor Maria Mercedes Arzadon, University of the Philippines

Professor Marie Therese Bustos, ACTRC, University of the Philippines

Dr Cuc Nguyen, University of Melbourne

Philip Purnell, SEAMEO INNOTECH

Professor Field Rickards, ACTRC, University of Melbourne