By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) are seriously considering dropping the offering of the Senior High School (SHS) program due to difficulty on maintaining it, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said.
CHED Chairman Dr. J. Prospero De Vera III, in an interview, said several SUCs have already stopped offering the SHS program due to some concerns in its implementation.
“Many of them have stopped offering the SHS program starting this School Year (SY),” De Vera said. “SUCs are having a hard time maintaining the program – for instance, it’s difficult to look for teachers who are willing to teach senior high,” he said.
Earlier, De Vera expressed support on move to review the K to 12 Program, especially the SHS program or the Grades 11 and 12. In particular, one of the areas to be reviewed is the number of schools that offer all the tracks for SHS. The SHS program has four tracks, namely: the Academic Track, Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track, Arts & Design Track, and Sports Track.
De Vera said that this is very important “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.”
Citing the reality on the ground, De Vera said many schools offering SHS 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 are available in schools that offer SHS, De Vera said that would make it “easier for the universities to adjust their admission policies.”
As CHED chairman, De Vera serves as head of Board of Regents (BOR) of some SUCs, including University of the Philippines, Mindanao State University, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, Capiz State University, Central Philippines State University, Guimaras State University, Iloilo State College of Fisheries, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College, University of Antique, Iloilo Science and Technology University, West Visayas State University, Eastern Visayas State University, Palompon Institute of Technology, Visayas State University, Siquijor State College, and University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines.