by: Noli Magsambol III
SAN PABLO CITY, LAGUNA—The Department of Education (DepEd) reported on September 3, 2012 that the Open High School Program (OHSP) exhibited 44 % increase in enrolment this year. From a total of 42 students last year, OHSP enrolees are now 77. The OHSP administrators expect this number to increase as the program still accepts applicants.
OHSP coordinator, Mrs. Richelle Q. Omaña, attributes the rise in enrolment to financial constraints. She said that students prefer enrolling in OHSP rather than regular schooling because they can save money for fare and some finances in school like activities and other academic related works.
OHSP is a secondary education program that is designed for students who are unable to attend regular school primarily due to physical impairment, work, financial difficulty and physical distance between home and school.
It operates in accordance with the provision of Batasang Pangbansa (BP) 232 or the Education Act of 1982, which states that the state shall provide the right of every individual to relevant quality education regardless of sex, age, creed, socio-economic status, physical and mental conditions, racial or ethnic origin, political and other affiliation
The OHSP conducts lessons through modules approved by the DepEd-Bureau of Secondary Education (BSE). These are distributed by program administrators on their seminar before the official start of classes.
The DepEd-BSE promotes the OHSP through print and broadcast media. It also calls for the support of Local Government Units (LGUs) in promoting it to their communities.
At the barangay level, officials encourage people to enrol. Chairman Efren Janolino of Barangay San Gabriel, for example, said that the program is really of great help in providing quality education to his residents, especially those parents who can’t afford to send their children to school.
One of the OHSP beneficiaries, Angelica Sangcap, shared how the program helped her as a student. “Due to physical illness last year, I was not able to attend regular schooling and OHSP provided another chance for me to finish my senior year,” Angelica said.
OHSP administrators are now thinking of ways on how they can improve their educational system to attract more out-of-school youth, high school drop-outs, and elementary graduates. This is to help people in achieving a quality distance education regardless of their financial status.