The sentiment among Filipinos regarding the CHED order to discontinue the Senior High School programs in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) appears to be one of concern, particularly regarding the impact on students and the education system. The decision, confirmed by CHED Chairperson Prospero De Vera III, is in line with the mandate of higher education institutions to focus on tertiary education. However, there are calls for proper coordination between the Department of Education (DepEd) and CHED to ensure that there will be no disruption to the education of students currently enrolled in these programs.
Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva emphasized the importance of considering the impact on students and the need for sufficient capacity within DepEd or the private sector to accommodate these students. The discontinuation is based on the premise that SUCs and LUCs were only allowed to offer Senior High School during the K-12 transition period, which ended in SY 2020-2021. The move has raised discussions about the future of students and the role of SUCs and LUCs in the Philippine education system.
As a member of the academe leading a robust senior high school with graduates who rose to Magna Cum Laude, Cum Laude with teachers all in pursuit of Masters degree , I cant help but be concerned .
However, we see here the realities of fiscal and financial constraints making a major factor. We don’t deny the fact that LUCs and SUCs is not mandated by law to provide Senior High Schools to Filipinos , it’s the province of the DepEd and indeed it’s undeniably both a burden and an advantage . A burden because in the words of Sir Peps Monge former Vice President at Leyte Normal University “ it siphons off budget and resources which is allocated for tertiary education”. However , in the other hand it makes a better avenue as laboratory school for those tertiary education that offers Teacher Training or Education.
The problem with introducing change is that it can be a good thing or outright bad . But for me here are scenarios that would be worth pondering -on by our academic leaders :
The discontinuation of the Senior High School (SHS) programs in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) in the Philippines is expected to have several effects and lead to various scenarios:
1. Impact on Students: Students who are currently enrolled in SHS programs in SUCs and LUCs may need to transfer to other institutions to complete their education. This could cause disruption and inconvenience for these students and their families.
2. Capacity of DepEd and Private Sector: There is a concern about whether the Department of Education (DepEd) and the private sector have enough capacity to accommodate the students who will be displaced by the discontinuation of SHS programs in SUCs and LUCs.
3. Financial Implications: The discontinuation might lead to financial challenges for SUCs and LUCs, as they will no longer receive government assistance for SHS programs. This could affect the overall funding and resources available to these institutions.
4. Faculty and Staff: Faculty members who were teaching SHS courses in SUCs and LUCs may face job insecurity or may need to shift to teaching at the tertiary level or find employment elsewhere.
5. Educational System: The move aligns with CHED’s mandate for SUCs and LUCs to focus on tertiary education. However, it also raises questions about the role of these institutions in the broader educational system and how they can best serve the needs of the country’s youth.
6. Probable Scenarios:
o Transition Period: There may be a transition period where SUCs and LUCs with laboratory schools can still accept enrollees but will no longer receive vouchers.
o Policy Revisions: The government may need to revise policies to ensure a smooth transition and to address any gaps in the education system that the discontinuation might create.
o Stakeholder Coordination: Effective coordination between CHED, DepEd, SUCs, LUCs, and other stakeholders will be crucial to manage the transition and mitigate negative impacts.
All these maybe a scenario projection by this modest writer, but I believe it must be something that needs a second and maybe a long and hard look .
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