CHED looks forward to K to 12 review; cites need to make informed adjustments

Published October 30, 2019, 6:14 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Merlina Hernando-Malipot 

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III on Wednesday expressed support to the proposed review of the K to 12 Program stressing the need to address various challenges in its implementation that affect the higher education sector.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III  (Prof Popoy De Vera FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III

“We look forward to the proposed review of the K to 12 Program because there are questions that we would like to be answered,” De Vera said at the sidelines of the Ceremonial Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CHED, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (BARMM-MBHTE) to provide assistance to higher education institutions (HEIs) and government instrumentalities in the new region.

For instance, De Vera cited the need to clarify the teaching of Filipino in Senior High School (SHS). “The Supreme Court has already decided that the CHED was correct and it is now part of the senior high so we would like to know how it is being taught in SHS and whether there is a need to strengthen the teaching of the language at the University level,” he said.

De Vera said that for CHED to push for stronger teaching of the Filipino language at the University level, “we need the study and the data for this.” Also, he noted that CHED would also like to “find out the level of competency of SHS graduates because this will be used by the accepting universities to accept students.”

Currently, De Vera said that in the accepting higher education institutions (HEIs), “all the universities have their own admission tests.” He noted that if there is a system to measure the specific competency of the SHS graduate, “this can be used by the universities to complement their own admissions tests so it will be easier to determine what the competencies of the applicants.”

De Vera noted that it is very crucial for HEIs to know the competencies of student applicants. “Now, the universities are essentially blind when the students apply because the admission tests do not give a very in-depth assessment of the specialization that they took in SHS,” he added.

CHED, De Vera added, would also like to find out how many of the schools that offer SHS actually has all the tracks under the program. “Because if all the tracks are available for the students and they make their choice in SHS to go to a specific track, then we can already enact policies when they go to the universities,” he said.

De Vera noted that the “reality on the ground” is that many SHSs cannot offer the full range of tracks. “The decision of the Commission was whatever track you came from, you can go to any degree program in universities because they were not given an option in SHS and therefore, we will be discriminating on the students if we restrict their choice of a degree program on the SHS track that they took because that might not have been their choice in the first place,” he said.

If all the SHS tracks – Academic Track, Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track, Arts & Design Track and Sports Track – are all available in schools that offer SHS, De Vera believes it would be “easier for the universities to adjust their admission policies.”

De Vera added that there “are many things that hopefully the review [of the K to 12] will produce which will guide us when we make policies in the higher education level.”

Earlier, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the House plans to conduct the review of the K to 12 program specifically to gauge the employability of its graduates. The Department of Education (DepEd) welcomed the review hoping that its outcome will “spur renewed commitment and initiatives” among lawmakers, advocates, and other stakeholders in aid of realizing the K to 12 program’s overall goal which is to “hone holistically developed Filipino learners with 21st century skills.”