CALBAYOG CITY- Joemar Bansag could not believe that his decision to enter the senior high school would pave the way for him to land immediate job. The 22- year old man from Barangay Tinambacan Sur, this city, said that the food chain where he had his on-the-job training promised to hire him. This is, of course, a good news to Bansag who could not afford to go to college due to sheer poverty. Bansag was one of the pioneers of the senior high school under the K to 12 program of the Department of Education in Calbayog City. On April 17, he received his diploma as a graduate of the senior high school taking up the Technical Vocational Livelihood (TVL) Track of the program with specialization on food processing, bread and pastry production and food and beverage.

He finished his senior high school at the Rafael Lentejas Memorial School of Fisheries (RLMSF), where he graduated his secondary education back in 2009. “With the skills and learning we gained with the Senior High School, we can start a simple business for our own,” Bansag said. According to him, the extra year in high school could prove to be a boon to children to come from poor families. Bansag, who wanted to enter college but could not do so due to poverty. His father, Julian, is a retired government soldier while his mother, Marlyn, is a plain housewife who suffered a stroke in 2007.

With the family depending on the monthly pension of the father coupled with the medical needs of their mother, Bansag’s life was far from comfortable. He was the third among the brood of five children. But armed with a senior high school diploma, Bansag said that he could now help his family.  Meanwhile, education supervisor Arnold Jaraba, K to 12 Focal Person of DepEd Calbayog City Division, said that some of the graduates of the program in RLMSF, already started a business of their own, like selling tocino, longganisa and salted egg that they personally produced using the skills they have learned. “Some of our senior high school graduates already produced and sold processed foods like tocino, longganisa and salted eggs. They are already helping their families in their own little way,” Jaraba said.

Despite the negative comments the public throw to the program, Bansag was very much thankful for the senior high school program for this opened new hope for his future. “Senior high school was really a great help, a good opportunity for this has given me new hope for my future and my family,” he said. (JENNIFER SUMAGANG ALLEGADO)