DepEd: Senior high open to graduates of pre-K to 12 program
MANILA, Philippines – The K to 12 program of the government promises employable high school graduates with its additional two years called senior high school.
The first batch under the program – an estimated 1.2 million to 1.6 million students – will enter Grade 11 in 2016 and Grade 12 in 2017.
But Education Secretary Armin Luistro said even the high school graduates of the previous 10-year pre-university cycle can go to senior high school if they want to.
"Ang tanong nila: 'Kami rin ba p'wede?' Kung mapapansin niyo, ang gagawin na programa for DepEd and non-DepEd schools, hindi lang 'yung sa current enrollees of grade 10. Kasama na diyan yung mga previous enrollees," Luistro told reporters on Tuesday, May 5, after a Senate committee hearing on K to 12.
(They ask: "Can we also enroll in senior high school?" If you notice, the program for DepEd and non-DepEd schools will cater not only to current enrollees of grade 10. We will also include previous enrollees.)
DepEd has identified over 5,800 public schools that will offer senior high school in 2016. Another 1,122 private schools were also given provisional permits to offer the program.
Luistro said it was part of their planning to include at least 400,000 slots in DepEd schools for pre-K to 12 high school graduates, or those who graduated from high school before the implementation of senior high school in 2016.
This will help graduates who were not able to pursue higher education but would like to acquire functional skills so they can be employed in various industries. (INFOGRAPHIC: 10 things about K to 12)
"Kung magkakaproblema kami, we will try to manage 'yung naka-graduate ng old programs na hindi sila sabay-sabay papasok," he explained. (If we encounter problems, we will try to manage those who already graduated from the old program so they don't enter senior high school all at the same time.)
Luistro is confident there are "more than enough" senior high schools that can accommodate all grade 11 students in 2016, despite the smaller number of schools that will offer the two additional years.
The department will employ different strategies – including a senior high school voucher program – to prevent what critics fear: higher dropout rates because of additional schooling expenses.