AN OFFICIAL from the Commission on Higher Education-Davao Region (Ched-Davao) said that there are no displaced senior high school students in Davao City with the implementation of the memorandum dated Dec. 18, 2023.
Dr. Christopher Pio O. Pulido said during the Kapehan sa Dabaw on Friday morning, January 12, 2024, at the NCCC Victoria that only one state university in Davao Region offers the Senior High School (SHS) program which is the Davao Oriental State University (DOrSU) in Mati, Davao Oriental. However, it has already discontinued its SHS program for the academic year 2019 to 2020.
“There are no students in Davao Region that will be affected by the directive of the central office,” Pulido said.
The Ched Memorandum No. 241, Series of 2023 states the discontinuation of the SHS program in all state universities and colleges (SUCs) and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) as there is no longer legal basis for them to continue.
It further said that Ched's assistance with the SHS program should be limited to the transitional phase, which runs from the 2016–2017 school year to the 2020–2021 school year.
“Basically wala lang legal basis yung mga state universities and colleges whose reason for their existence is really for the higher education (Basically there is no longer a legal basis for state universities and colleges whose reason for their existence is to [cater] for the higher education),” Pulido said.
Pulido clarified that Ched is merely putting a halt to the SHS programs in SUCs and LUCs; and is not putting a stop to the entirety of the SHS program. He pointed out that the department does not have the power to put a stop to the SHS program since it is a republic act, thus a law.
Reynante Solitario, Division Schools Superintendent of the Department of Education-Davao (DepEd-Davao) told SunStar Davao in a text message, that there are no reported cases of displaced SHS students in the city since there are no SUCs or LUCs in Davao that offers SHS program.
In the event that there are displaced students from other municipalities, cities, or divisions looking for a school in Davao City that they wish to transfer to, DepEd is ready to accommodate them in their educational needs.
“Our doors are open, and we encourage interested individuals to reach out to our public secondary schools for assistance and guidance,” Solitario said.
Meanwhile, the fifth president of the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) Rev. Fr. Karel S. San Juan, SJ, addressed the issue concerning the discontinuation of SHS program in SUCs and LUCs in the Philippines.
“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 said that as SHS students from SUCs and LUCs will either move to DepEd-led schools or private schools, the suspension of the SHS programs at LUCs and SUCs will be advantageous for the country's private schools.
He emphasized that the K–12 curriculum and SHS implementation need to be reviewed because children are still burdened by challenges like subject congestion, among other things. RGP