THE fifth university president of the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) Rev. Fr. Karel S. San Juan, SJ, has vowed to push for an enhanced collaboration among universities and colleges in the country.
Better partnership, he said, is one of the responsibilities of educational institutions as they hold a key role in improving education not only in the city but also in the Davao Region.
"We have a responsibility in the city and in the region. Therefore we collaborate with other schools, collaboration and partnership is really essential in our mission," San Juan said in a media press conference on Monday morning, January 8, 2024, at the Pakighinabi Room, third floor, Ricci Hall, AdDU.
He added that they are committed to this direction as reflected in their active membership of the Davao Association of Catholic Schools (DACS) and Davao Colleges and Universities Network (DACUN). He said through their membership of these groups, they are able to share their resources and expertise with others.
San Juan also addressed the issue concerning the discontinuation of Senior High Schools (SHS) in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs) in the Philippines as stated in the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) memorandum dated December 18, 2023.
The memorandum added that Ched should only assist the Department of Education (DepEd) in the SHS program during the transition period which is school year 2016 to 2017 until school year 2020 to 2021.
“By removing Senior High School from SUCs, we can now focus on higher education. And DepEd can now focus on the Senior High School system. I think that it's gaining more clarity,” San Juan said.
San Juan also said that the halt of the SHS programs in SUCs and LUCs will be beneficial for the private schools in the country as SHS students from SUCs and LUCs will either transfer to DepEd-led schools or private schools.
He pointed out that there is a need to review the K-12 curriculum and implementation of SHS as issues on subject congestion, among others, continue to be a burden for the students.
Before he became the fifth president of the AdDU, he previously served for nine years as the President of Ateneo de Zamboanga University from October 2013 to March 2023. The newly-installed president assumed the role previously held by Fr. Joel Tabora. He assumed office in September 2023. His investiture and installation ceremony happened on January 8, 2024. RGP