By Jeffrey T. Lopez, Teacher III, ALS Zaragoza District

Responding to the challenges of educational continuum in the new normal
became an ubiquitous concern in the Alternative Learning System due to the nature of
the learners enrolled in this program. They need to be equipped with life skills,
knowledge and attitude that will enable them to endure life whether they will pursue
employment, entrepreneurship or college after completing basic education curriculum.
While they persist in attaining this, they also face life’s battles of survival and meaningful
existence. Thus, administrators and teachers must really capitalize on gearing up ALS
learners with 21 st century skills to be able to champion over adversaries and hard trials.
These 21 st century skills are recommended to be included in the curriculum and
should be considered in designing programs, materials, content and performance
standards and activities for ALS learners so that they will be prepared to be successful
and at par with the international standards.
These 21 st century skills are critical thinking, communication, creativity, problem
solving, perseverance, collaboration, information literacy, technology and digital literacy,
media literacy, global awareness, self-direction, social skills, civic literacy, social
responsibility, innovation and thinking skills. All of these are desired to be embedded in
the well-being of a learner so that they will be holistically developed to become
productive members of the community. Through these skills they will succeed in life no
matter what it offers.

These skills are the most essential drivers of victory which must be developed
among learners in the Alternative Learning System. They are the individuals who are in
the situation where education is no longer considered as replica of life but lie itself. They
need to be ready with a set of nuance skills for the unknown events in the future. Just
like this pandemic, though it already occurred in the history, our time and age was not
familiar to this and so we are caught unaware and unprepared. 21 st century skills will
make the learners armored with endurance and strength to bear with the dealings that
are yet to come.
It is therefore imperative for the educators to implement measures to ensure that
ALS learners are receiving the quality instructional activities with the abundance of 21 st
century skills-centered developmental activities so that they will be triumphant in life
even in the new normal.