Ensuring a Smooth Transition for SHS Students in SUCs

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SEN. Mary Grace Poe has called on education officials to prioritize a “seamless transition” for students who will be affected by the discontinuation of the senior high school (SHS) program in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs). Recognizing the potential challenges faced by these students, Poe emphasizes the need for a comprehensive assessment to determine if public schools nationwide have the necessary facilities and personnel to accommodate the expected influx of students.

Poe highlights the importance of ensuring that displaced students are not burdened with high tuition fees or forced to discontinue their education due to financial constraints. The SHS program was designed to provide employability and produce more competitive graduates, and it is crucial that this promise is upheld without becoming a burden for Filipino learners.

Joining the call for support, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero urges the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and the Department of Education (DepEd) to take proactive measures to prevent any SHS students from being left behind. While acknowledging the legal basis and alignment of the discontinuation with the mandate of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Escudero emphasizes the importance of ensuring that every student is given the opportunity to continue their education.

Escudero emphasizes the need for coordination between CHEd and DepEd in addressing this issue. He recognizes that the discontinuation of the SHS programs in SUCs and LUCs was intended as part of the transition to the K to 12 program. However, it is crucial for the DepEd to closely monitor the situation through its regional offices to identify any students at risk of being displaced once the SUCs and LUCs stop their SHS program.

CHEd Chairman Prospero de Vera 3rd has confirmed the issuance of a memorandum on the discontinuance of the SHS Program in SUCs and LUCs. De Vera explains that this decision was made due to the lack of a legal basis to continue funding the program. Despite reminders to discontinue their senior high programs, some SUCs and LUCs were still accepting senior high enrollees, prompting the need for the memorandum.

To ensure a smooth transition for affected students, it is essential for education officials to collaborate and develop a comprehensive plan. This plan should address the potential challenges faced by students and provide necessary support to ensure their continued education. The focus should be on identifying alternative educational institutions or programs that can accommodate the influx of students and provide them with quality education.

Furthermore, financial assistance programs should be made available to students who may struggle to afford the costs associated with continuing their education. Scholarships, grants, and loan programs can help alleviate the financial burden on these students and ensure that they have equal access to educational opportunities.

Additionally, career guidance and counseling services should be provided to help students make informed decisions about their future. This support can help ensure that the SHS program delivers on its promise of employability and equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen fields.

In conclusion, the discontinuation of the SHS program in SUCs and LUCs presents a challenge for affected students. However, by prioritizing a seamless transition, coordinating efforts between education officials, and providing necessary support, we can ensure that no student is left behind. It is crucial to uphold the promise of the SHS program and empower Filipino learners to achieve their full potential.

Source: The Manila Times

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