In a recent memorandum dated December 18, 2023, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has made it clear that there is no longer a legal basis to fund senior high school (SHS) in state universities and colleges (SUCs). This decision, outlined in CHEd Memorandum Order (CMO) 32 of 2015 and CMO 33 of 2016, states that SUCs and Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) can only engage in basic education through SHS during the K-12 transition period, which spans from school year (SY) 2016-2017 to SY 2020-2021.
The memorandum further highlights that the Department of Education has issued a notice through the Private Education Assistance Committee, stating that starting SY 2023-2024, there will be no more Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (Gastpe) beneficiaries from SUCs/LUCs. The exception to this rule applies to those students who will be entering Grade 12 in SY 2023-2024 to complete their basic education. Additionally, SUCs and LUCs with laboratory schools can still accept enrollees but will no longer receive vouchers.
Given these developments, CHEd Chairman J. Prospero de Vera 3rd has directed the heads of SUCs to bring the discontinuance of senior high school in SUCs to their respective board of regents (BoR) or board of trustees (BoT). This directive aims to address the lack of legal basis for funding SHS in SUCs.
For SUCs with laboratory schools, De Vera has instructed them to present the financial implications of the Department of Education’s notice regarding the non-issuance of vouchers for senior high school enrollees. Furthermore, compliance with CMO No. 32, Series of 2015 must be ensured, which states that after the transition period, laboratory schools should cap enrollment at 750 students.
It is important for SUC heads and CHEd regional directors to take note of this memorandum. The regional directors have been specifically tasked with monitoring compliance with the directive, ensuring that SUCs adhere to the discontinuation of SHS funding in accordance with the current legal framework.
This decision by CHEd signifies a shift in the funding landscape for senior high school education in SUCs. It underscores the need for SUCs to reevaluate their educational offerings and financial strategies. As the legal basis for funding SHS in SUCs no longer exists, it is crucial for SUCs to explore alternative sources of funding or reallocate resources to other areas of education.
This development also has implications for students and parents considering SUCs for their senior high school education. It is important for them to be aware of the changes and understand the financial implications. Students who are currently enrolled in SUCs and will be entering Grade 12 in SY 2023-2024 will still be able to complete their education with the support of vouchers. However, for future enrollees, alternative options may need to be considered.
In conclusion, the recent memorandum from CHEd has clarified that there is no longer a legal basis to fund senior high school in SUCs. This decision emphasizes the need for SUCs to revisit their funding strategies and make necessary adjustments. It is essential for SUC heads and CHEd regional directors to ensure compliance with this directive, while students and parents should stay informed about the changes and explore alternative options for senior high school education.
Source: The Manila Times