Community-based Adult Learning and Development Programme

Country Profile: Philippines


96,471,000 (2012)

Spoken Languages

Filipino, English, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilokano, Pampango, Pangasinense, Tagalog, Waray

Poverty (Population living on less than 2 US$ per day):

42% (2009)

Total Expenditure on Education as % of GNP

2.7 (2009)

Access to Primary Education – Total Net Intake Rate (NIR)

96% (2011)

Youth Literacy Rate (15-24 years)

Female: 98% (2005–2010)
Male: 97% (2005–2010)
Total: 98% (2005–2010)

Adult Literacy Rate (15 years and over)

Female: 97% (2005–2010)
Male: 98% (2005–2010)
Total: 98% (2005–2010)

Staistical Sources

Programme Overview

Programme TitleCommunity-based Adult Learning and Development Programme
Implementing OrganizationPeople’s Initiative for Learning and Community Development
Fundingdvv International
Annual Programme CostsUS$ 30 000


The People’s Initiative for Learning and Community Development (PILCD) is a national NGO that was established in 2002. It is now a member of national and regional literacy and education organizations such as the Civil Society for Education Reforms or E-net Philippines (a national coalition of NGOs for education reforms); the Asia South Pacific Bureau for Adult Education (ASPBAE); the Regional Literacy Coordinating Council of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and the NGO Consultative Assembly of the National Literacy Coordinating Council.

PILCD primarily endeavours to develop and implement alternative learning programmes for community development. To this end, it has been implementing the Community-based Adult Learning and Development Programme (CALDP), which is intended to institutionalise alternative learning for development at grass-roots levels in an effort to enhance the capacity of local communities to address proactively the social, political and economic challenges afflicting them as well as to increase their standard of life.

Context and Background


While the literacy rate in the Philippines is high (over 90%), a Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS, 2003) revealed that about 3.8 million Filipinos aged 10 years and over were unable to read and write, while a further 9.2 million were functionally illiterate. The FLEMMS also noted that of the 34.2 million Filipinos aged between 6-24 years, 11.6 million were not attending school, of which 1.2 million were children of primary school age (6-11 years old), 1.0 million were of secondary school age (12-15 years old), and 9.4 million were in the tertiary age group (16-24 years old). In addition, the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FEIS, 2003) indicated that about 44.5% of household heads had had elementary education at most, while a further 33.9% had reached secondary level and 21.6% had attended college with less than half earning a college degree. These data indicate that despite a progressive increase in national literacy rates over the years, some Filipinos, particularly poor people in urban slums and remote rural areas as well as indigenous populations, have limited opportunities to gain access to quality formal education. As a result, PILCD initiated the Community-based Adult Learning and Development Programme (CALDP) with the aim of addressing the learning and educational needs of these disadvantaged people.


The Community-based Adult Learning and Development Programme (CALDP) is currently being implemented in three local municipalities in the Province of Benguet and the City of Baguio. The programme enrols between 150 and 200 adult and youth learners per year and has an annual budget of about US$ 30 000. Due to the ethnic and linguistic diversity of the Philippines, the programme employs a multilingual approach to learning instruction and thus uses regional languages, Filipino and English in order to enable learners to effectively comprehend the concepts being taught.

CALDP focuses primarily on four key areas:


Aims and Objectives

The programme endeavours to:


Programme Implementation: Approaches and Methodologies

Curriculum Design and Development

CALDP actively combines literacy skills training with sustainable development at both the individual and community levels. The design and development of the programme is based on the situational reality of the learners, but also incorporates aspects of broader national and global relevance. These realities serve as learning references to enable learners not only to face their problems but, most importantly, to proactively seek functional solutions to these challenges in a way that supports individual and community growth and development. As the programme is community-based, learners are furthermore consulted with regard to its design and development, and the results of these consultative engagements help to frame the programme curriculum.

Recruitment and Training of Trainers

Programme facilitators are usually regular PILCD staff with university qualifications in education, psychology and sociology. Additional facilitators are hired according to need and should preferably have had a university education. The facilitators are provided with professional training by PILCD on adult learning theories, teaching and learning methods, lesson planning and development, and creative facilitation using the Activity-Discussion-Input-Deepening-Synthesis (ADIDS) approach which incorporates theatre skills and the visual arts. Each facilitator is trained to deal with between 25 and 30 learners.

Regular PILCD staff/facilitators receive a monthly salary which is provided for under the programme funding agreement. Additional facilitators hired according to need are paid an honorarium by the local partner government which is based on the hours or days served.

Enrolment of Learners

PILCD, in partnership with community leaders, NGOs and local government officials, undertakes literacy and development sensitisation and advocacy campaigns to encourage target groups to enrol into the programme. In order for the campaign to be effective and yield the intended results, PILCD engages community and local government officials through consultative meetings during which CALDP’s goals and objectives are explained. In addition, PILCD also arranges campaign activities and orientation meetings with potential learners and other community members. A further incentive for prospective learners and their communities is that the programme is provided free of charge.

Teaching/Learning Approaches and Methodologies


CALDP learning sessions are held on a regular but flexible basis based on an analysis of the participants' learning needs, levels of literacy, educational gaps and intended outcomes. These are identified through a series of pre-enrolment Functional Literacy Tests (FLT) and group-based activities. In addition, learners contribute towards establishing the learning calendar by choosing the days and times that best suit them. In the past, CALDP sessions have been held once or twice a week, or one week per month according to learners’ availability.

To avoid facilitator-centred instruction, several teaching methods are used. These range from traditional lectures with multi-media presentations to group-based activities, modular-based learning, field demonstrations, games and creative arts that take participants’ different learning styles and contexts into account. However, particular emphasis is placed on action-based learning using the ADIDS model, whereby learners are encouraged to engage in simulated or real project activities that contribute to the overall development of the project. This “hands-on” approach is intended to empower learners and allow them to make their own discoveries. It has been used successfully in agricultural lessons with small farmers in Buduias, where PILCD has established an agricultural demonstration farm for practical lessons.


Furthermore, the programme provides learners with self-administered supplementary learning modules which they can use alone or in study groups during their spare time. Most modules are developed by PILCD based on the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) learning modules provided by the Department of Education’s Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS), while others are developed independently by NGOs.

Similarly, PILCD employs various strategies to motivate learners and their communities to participate in the programme. Apart from the advocacy campaigns and the provision of free lessons, the CALDP also offers developmental literacy training in a number of areas such as: basic and advanced literacy; computer literacy; music and art workshops; cultural activities; life skills; and livelihood and income generation training, particularly in agricultural production. This is intended to cater effectively to learners’ diverse interests; for example, adult males are more inclined to join agricultural classes, whereas youth tends to enrol in basic education and literacy classes.

CALDP learners receive further motivation to pursue their studies due to the possibility offered to them of taking the A&E test administered each year by the Department of Education’s Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS). Participants who pass this test are awarded high school graduation certificates by the Department of Education, which enable them to continue to higher education or seek formal employment at a similar level to formal school graduates.

Programme Impact and Challenges

Monitoring and Evaluation


Facilitators are obliged to evaluate the programme on an ongoing basis through end-of-session tests. Longer tests are also taken in order to enable the evaluation of long-term learning outcomes as well as to prepare learners for the A&E tests.

In addition, learners also evaluate the programme by means of a learning feedback diary (LFD) which is principally an essay detailing the learning experiences, and suggesting ways of improving the programme.

However, the programme has still to be evaluated by independent external examiners.

Impact and Achievements

The CALDP has been applauded for advancing the inter-twined goals of literacy skills training and community development. The following lists its key impacts and achievements:

Lessons Learned


The sustainability of the programme is being ensured through intensive lobbying and advocacy campaigns within the communities that raises community awareness of the importance of education and encourages people to enrol in the programme. Similar efforts are being made to encourage national and local government units to institutionalise literacy and adult education programmes within their development plans. In addition, PILCD is establishing partnerships with governmental and non-governmental institutions in order to secure reliable sources of additional project funding. Partnerships like this have enabled PILCD to expand CALDP to other communities.



Ramon G. Mapa
Executive Director
247 Lower Ferguson, Central Guisad,
2600 Baguio City, Philippines
Phone/Fax: (63974) 3005038
E-mail: pilcd (at); (at); maparamon (at)