Senate Majority Leader Emmanuel Joel Villanueva has expressed his support for the decision of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to dissolve senior high schools (SHS) in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs). This move aligns with the mandate of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country.
Villanueva emphasized that while SUCs and LUCs were allowed to offer SHS programs during the transition period, it is not their primary role to provide basic education. The exception to this is for institutions with laboratory schools. By discontinuing the SHS program in HEIs, the focus can be redirected towards higher education, research, and specialization.
However, it is crucial to consider the impact of this directive on affected students. Villanueva expects that there will be sufficient coordination between the Department of Education (DepEd) and CHEd to ensure a smooth transition and no disruption to the education of students. It is also essential to ensure that there is enough capacity within the DepEd or the private sector to accommodate the affected students.
CHEd Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III confirmed the issuance of a memorandum from the Office of the Chairman on December 18, announcing the discontinuation of the SHS program in SUCs and LUCs. This decision is consistent with CHEd’s previous directives, limiting the engagement of SUCs and LUCs in basic education to the K to 12 transition period from SY 2016-2017 to SY 2020-2021.
De Vera clarified that the DepEd has also issued a notice through the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC). Starting from the school year 2023-2024, there will be no more Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) beneficiaries from SUCs and LUCs. However, an exception is made for those entering Grade 12 in SY 2023-2024 to complete their basic education.
SUCs and LUCs with laboratory schools will still be allowed to accept enrollees, but they will no longer receive vouchers. This adjustment aims to ensure a smooth transition for students and maintain the quality of education provided by these institutions.
The decision to dissolve SHS programs in SUCs and LUCs reflects the government’s commitment to streamlining the roles and responsibilities of educational institutions. By focusing on their respective areas of expertise, HEIs can enhance the quality of higher education and contribute to the country’s development.
It is important for students, parents, and educators to be aware of these changes and to work together to ensure a seamless transition. The collaboration between the DepEd and CHEd will be crucial in providing the necessary support and resources for affected students.
While this decision may bring about some challenges, it also presents an opportunity for SUCs and LUCs to further strengthen their higher education offerings and contribute to the overall advancement of the education sector in the Philippines.
Source: The Manila Times