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DepEd Addresses Dropout Rate Through Open High School Program -- Lapus
By Hannibal C. Talete


MANILA, Oct. 14 (PNA) -- To address the growing dropout rate among high school students, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said on Wednesday the Department of Education (DepEd) has intensified its Open High School Program (OHSP).

According to Lapus, OHSP is one of the alternative learning education schemes under the education department’s Drop Out Reduction Program (DORP).

The DepEd chief said that through the OHSP, students can complete their high school education even if they find themselves in circumstances that would not allow them to continue going to school under the regular system.

“The OHSP is considered formal and structured or what is considered under the normal classroom situation,” Lapus said.  

He disclosed that under the program, students learn the eight core subjects in English, Science, Mathematics, Filipino, Aralin Panlipunan, Edukasyon sa Pagpapahalaga, Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health (MAPEH). They graduate by completing the four levels from first year to fourth year.

“The grading system is the same with the regular program. Students in the OHSP also graduate with the regular students at the end of the school year,” he added.

The DepEd started implementing the OHSP in 1998 with very few high schools adopting it during the initial offering. At present, more and more high schools nationwide are offering the program as part of the scheme to address the issue on school dropouts.

DepEd said there has been a significant change in dropout rate in the secondary level since DORP was implemented.

Records showed that from 12.51 percent in 2005-2006, this went down to 7.45 percent in 2007-2008.

The DORP was formulated to respond to the needs of students who cannot report to class regularly because they are working either as part-time of full-time or for any other reason.

The DepEd said there are about five to six million school-age learners who are out of school. Many are willing to finish high school but are constrained by family,individual, community and school concerns.

The DORP focuses on these four risk factors that lead to the dropout problem.

The DORP has three major components, namely: the Effective Alternative Secondary Education or EASE, the Open High School or Distance Education Program (OHSP), and the School Initiated Interventions (SlI).

DORP was designed to address the problems faced by students which prevent them from completing their elementary and high school education. (PNA)