No more senior high school program in state, local universities

No more senior high school program in state, local universities
SunStar Davao File

STATE and local universities in the country have been directed to stop offering senior high school (SHS) program.

The Commission on Higher Education (Ched) in Central Luzon confirmed this with a memorandum dated December 28, 2023, directing all presidents, heads, and officers-in-charge of state university and colleges (SUCs) in the region to discontinue offering SHS.

The memorandum signed by Lore Yusi, OIC of the Office of the Director 1V of Ched-Central Luzon, cited the December 18, 2023 order issued by Ched Chairman Prospero De Vera III, who said that “there is no longer legal basis to fund” the SHS program.

De Vera said the engagement of SUCs Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) in basic education through SHS shall be limited to the K-12 transition period, which is from School Year (SY) 2016-2017 to SY 2020-2021 only.

He said the Department of Education (DepEd) has already issued a notice, through Private Education Assistance Committee, that starting SY 2023-2024, there will be no more government assistance to students and teachers in private education beneficiaries from SUCs and LUCs.

Exempted, however, are those entering Grade 12 in SY 2023-2024.

SUCs and LUCs with laboratory schools are also allowed to accept enrollees but they will no longer receive vouchers.

“For SUCs with laboratory school, present to the Board (Board of Trustees and Board of Regents) the financial implication of notice from the Department of Education as to non-issuance of vouchers for senior high school enrollees in SUCs,” De Vera said in the memo.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, majority floor leader and head of the Senate Committee on Rules, said in a statement that the DepEd and Ched should ensure proper coordination to ease the impact of the directive on the students who will be affected.

He said the move to discontinue the SHS in SUCs and LUCs is in line with the mandate of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

“While they were allowed to provide SHS during the transition period, we agree that it is not the role of HEIs to offer basic education, except for those with laboratory schools,” Villanueva said.

He also called on Ched and DepEd to manage the transition carefully to avoid disruptions.

“Ensure that there will be no disruption in the education of our students and that there is sufficient DepEd or private sector capacity to take it on,” he added. (LMY)

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