DepEd seeks specialized high school programs under K-12
Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - May 17, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Education Secretary Armin Luistro urged public and private colleges and universities yesterday to put up “specialized” senior high school programs under the newly signed K to 12 Basic Education Program law to help ease unemployment in the country.

Luistro said public and private colleges and universities that plan to offer programs for senior high school by 2016 should base their programs on the kind of jobs needed in their respective areas.

“If the schools will offer the same courses, the graduates will compete for the same job. But if their programs will be specialized, they can focus on jobs as well as business opportunities available in their areas,” Luistro told reporters.

He cited Batangas where there is high demand for ship repair, and schools can offer welding courses for senior high school students.

“In Siargao, surfing is very popular especially among foreign tourists, we can create a surfing academy,” he said.

Republic Act 10533, or the K to 12 Basic Education Program law, makes it compulsory to enroll children in kindergarten before they can begin six years of primary education.

Two years will also be added to the four-year high school curriculum.

The additional years will serve as a specialization period for senior high school students, whether in vocational skills, music, arts or sports.

Luistro said the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Asian Development Bank are undertaking a mapping of schools planning to put up senior high school in the next three years.

“We hope to finish the mapping by November this year so we will have three years to prepare,” he said.

Prior to the signing of the K to 12 law, private schools expressed willingness to put up 30 percent of the classrooms needed for senior high school programs while the remaining 70 percent will be funded by the government.

“The schools were hesitant to commit to building facilities for senior high school before because they were not sure if the K to 12 program will be signed into law,” he said.

“After the signing of the K to 12 program (last Wednesday), we expect 60-40,” said Luistro.

He said the government would save on expenses if colleges and universities will offer programs for senior high school since this would mean the DepEd will construct less classrooms.

He said the agency is also offering subsidies – amounting to P6,500 – for senior high school students who want to enroll in private schools.

Luistro said this would also address concerns raised by colleges and universities that they would be losing revenues with the implementation of K to 12 since there would be no enrollees for first year in 2016 and 2017.

Around one million students will enter senior high school by 2016.

Private schools laud K to 12

Meanwhile, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) lauded the passage of the K to 12 program into law.

Jose Paulo Campos, COCOPEA chairman, said people should not look at K to 12 as a burden to students who would be required to take two more years of basic education.

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK BASIC EDUCATION PROGRAM COORDINATING COUNCIL OF PRIVATE EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION EDUCATION SECRETARY ARMIN LUISTRO HIGH IN SIARGAO LUISTRO SCHOOL SENIOR
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