AFFIRM has successfully concluded the evaluation activity requested by the Department of Science and Technology Science Education Institute.

         On July 28, 2022, the inception meeting between AFFIRM Center for Research and Professional Learning and the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) was held. The purpose of this meeting was to initiate an external evaluation of the Filipino Patriot Scholars Projects (FPSP), with a specific focus on assessing its relevance, effectiveness, and sustainability. Drawing upon our extensive expertise in evaluation, we presented a range of strategies to facilitate the achievement of these objectives.

         Today marks the culmination of this evaluation, which has played a pivotal role in guiding the evolution of the FPSP from its inception to its current stage. In a landscape where numerous scholarships are available, it is notable that the FPSP stands out by providing comprehensive support to scholars, nurturing their commitment to serving the country throughout their scholarship tenure. The FPSP team, headed by Dr. Josette Biyo, Engr. Albert G. Marino, Mr. Peter Gerry P. Gavina. Dr. Randolf S. Sasota, Ms. Susana F. Esquivel, Ms. Anita E. Gorgonio, Ms. Grace Sasota, Mr. Robby Reyes, Mr. Ramon David Castañeda, Mr. Kenneth Brillantes, Mr. Aaron Cruz, and Ms. Ida dela Peña demonstrated exceptional adaptability and resilience, allowing them to steadfastly pursue their mission, even in the face of the unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic. As the project has progressed from 2017 to 2022, the need for an evaluation to assess its accomplishments and identify avenues for improvement in addressing scholars’ needs has become increasingly evident.

          It is worth acknowledging that evaluations are not commonly emphasized in the Philippines. Therefore, AFFIRM extends appreciation to Dr. Biyo, the esteemed leader of DOST-SEI, for recognizing the value of evaluation in providing stakeholders with valuable insights into how the FPSP contributes to fostering nationalism among DOST scholars. Furthermore, the uniqueness of this evaluation lies in its dissemination of findings through this learning event, which serves as a platform for all key stakeholders within the FPSP ecosystem to come together and engage in a shared understanding.

         As the external evaluator of this project, our role entailed supporting the comprehension of the FPSP’s intricacies. We meticulously designed the evaluation plan, actively engaged with beneficiaries to capture their perspectives and outcomes, and interpreted the results within the context of the FPSP’s relevance, effectiveness, and sustainability.

         To ensure a comprehensive evaluation of the curriculum of FPSP, the involvement of a curricularist has been deemed essential to assess their alignment with the project’s objectives. In this regard, the expertise of Dr. Louie Dasas, Associate Dean at the College of Education, University of Sto Tomas, has been sought. Dr. Dasas possesses a wealth of knowledge in program evaluation, instructional design, curriculum development, and curriculum leadership. He is a highly accomplished education professional, holding a Doctor of Philosophy – PhD in Curriculum Studies earned from the University of the Philippines Diliman. He also served as the team leader of this evaluation activity.

          In addition to its academic focus, the FPSP incorporates a character formation component with the aim of fostering and reinforcing patriotism and nationalism among Filipino scholars. To address this crucial aspect, AFFIRM has enlisted the expertise of Dr. James Lactao. Dr. Lactao is a highly knowledgeable Mentoring Expert, with exceptional proficiency in counseling and program management. As the Vice-Director of Student Affairs at the University of Asia and the Pacific, he brings valuable insights and experience to the character formation aspect of the FPSP. Dr. Lactao holds a Doctor of Philosophy – PhD in Educational Psychology, which he earned from the University of the Philippines Diliman.

          Given the evaluative nature of this project, the presence of an evaluation methodologist is of utmost importance. For this critical role, Dr. Alvin Barcelona has been assigned, leveraging his extensive expertise in the field. Dr. Barcelona holds a PhD degree in Educational Research and Evaluation, earned from the University of the Philippines. As an accomplished assistant professor at the Faculty of Education Sciences, Philippine Normal University, he possesses invaluable insights into designing rigorous evaluation methodologies, including the formulation of sampling and data analysis plans tailored to assess the effectiveness of the FPSP. Dr. Barcelona’s contribution ensures that the evaluation process adheres to the highest standards of academic rigor, producing valuable and reliable findings to inform program enhancements and strategic decision-making.

         Guiding our experts in this evaluation is our esteemed Evaluation Advisor, Dr. Ivy P. Mejia. Dr. Mejia plays a pivotal role in guiding our team of experts throughout this evaluation process. Holding a PhD degree in Educational Research and Evaluation from the University of the Philippines-College of Education, Diliman, Dr. Mejia brings a wealth of experience to this endeavor. Her background spans across national and international development projects, teacher education programs, research initiatives, and evaluation studies.
As an accomplished evaluation methodologist, Dr. Mejia has contributed her expertise as a consultant to prestigious organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United States of America International Development (USAID) Philippines and USAID India. Notably, she served as the sole evaluator for the Global Citizenship Project (GCED) in 2019 of UNESCO. She assumed the role of technical specialist in the performance evaluation of the Science Technology Research, and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) initiative in 2022. She played the role of an evaluation advisor in the performance evaluation of USAID’s program on Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines, known as ABC+.

         Throughout her involvement in various evaluation projects, Dr. Mejia has demonstrated exceptional competence in managing evaluations as both a technical specialist and a subject matter expert. With Dr. Mejia’s expertise, we are confident in delivering a comprehensive and insightful evaluation of the Filipino Patriot Scholars Project (FPSP) to inform its continued success and impact.

         The views expressed by AFFIRM and our team of evaluators do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI). It is imperative to clarify that we have no affiliation with DOST-SEI, and even our evaluators were not recipients of any of the available DOST scholarships. This approach ensures that our evaluation remains unbiased and objective, allowing us to provide an impartial assessment of the FPSP.

         The evaluation brief for this project are reflected in the fact sheet.