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Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) Program: End-of-Program Evaluation (EOPE) Study and DFAT Management Response

Summary of publication

Australia’s Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) Program in the Philippines (2010-2019) contributed to the most significant education reforms of the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) in decades. The program’s overall goal was to transform the quality of Filipino graduates and contribute to long-term economic growth.

This End-of-Program Evaluation (EOPE) Study was commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was conducted between March 2019 to January 2021. It found that the most successful reforms supported by BEST included the expansion of the Philippines’ basic education system through the ‘K to 12’ program which added mandatory kindergarten and years 11 and 12 to the ten-year education system. The Study identified the five key reforms that underpinned the success of the BEST Program: professional standards for teachers; K-12 curriculum guides and classroom assessment; school based management reforms; the teacher learning and development system; and software and hardware to support education data collection and analysis. These policy reforms provided the necessary foundations to enhance the teacher professional development system and decentralised delivery of basic education.

The EOPE Study evaluated the results of BEST’s program implementation, assessed the performance of the various program interventions, and consolidated lessons learned. The Study also noted that there were other significant elements of the program, such as policy planning, monitoring and evaluation systems and classroom construction but that these were less successful in translating to practice. Despite implementation challenges, the evaluation concluded that Australia made a significant contribution to enduring and transformative national education reforms in the Philippines through the BEST Program.

BEST concluded in 2019. In the management response,  DFAT has reflected on the implications and lessons learned presented by the evaluation study.

Full publication

Management response

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