In early 2013, SEAMEO INNOTECH undertook an evaluation study to determine the current state of Open High School Program (OHSP) implementation in selected Open High Schools in the Philippines. The research study was funded through SEAMEO INNOTECH’s Research and Innovation Fund as part of the Center’s complimentary set of program interventions to support the Department of Education (DepEd)’s need for sustained technical support in operationalizing the new K to 12 Basic Education System.
The evaluation study was designed in close coordination with the DepEd Bureau of Secondary Education (BSE) and the Open High School Coordination team. Specifically, the study was undertaken to accomplish four objectives: first, to examine the viability of the OHSP as an alternative delivery mode (ADM) for secondary education; second, to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the OHSP as an ADM strategy; third, to appraise the comparability of open high school (OHS) and regular high school students; and finally, to pinpoint aspects of the OSHP that need to be developed to ensure that it is in harmony with the new K to 12 curricular reforms.
Data were collected from 331 students from 155 OHSP-implementing schools using separate mailed survey instruments. Seventeen schools were visited and 203 key implementers and stakeholders participated in focus group discussions. Lastly, 1,578 students selected from four schools representing the National Capital Region (NCR) and the three island groups were included in comparing OHSP and regular high school performance. Major data collection methods used were school and student questionnaires and interviews. School records of final grades in five subjects for a sample of OHSP and regular students were also obtained from four selected schools.
Initial findings were presented to DepEd on three occasions, namely, (1) during the workshop on flexible learning options participated in by OHSP Regional Coordinators held in April 2013, (2) during the meeting with the director and staff of the Bureau of Secondary Education on January 14, 2014, and (3) meeting with the Project Evaluation of the Open High School Program in the Philippines xv Management Service Unit on July 10, 2015 in relation to the World Bank’s Project LEAPS (Learning, Equity and Accountability Program Support). DepEd recommendations were considered in the report.
The study concludes that the OHSP is a viable alternative delivery mode (ADM) for students who are at risk of dropping out and the out-of-school youth who want to finish their high school education. It has been identified as a solution to high dropout rates by providing an attractive option to those who, for some reason, cannot attend regular school. Therefore, the OHSP is both a dropout reduction intervention and an important mechanism in attaining the DepEd Education for All (EFA) goals.
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