Colleges may offer senior high coursesBy Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Colleges are looking into various schemes to adjust to the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Kindergarten to Year 12 (K to 12) basic education reform program, among them by offering a senior high school course based on the department’s curriculum, an education official said.
Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo made the suggestion as the DepEd girds for the phased implementation of K to 12 in June, beginning with the introduction of new curricula for Grades 1 and 7, which is now first year high school.
“We are expecting two years of no college enrollment,” Mateo told the Inquirer. “So what happens to the colleges and universities? One model is that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) will be licensed to offer the additional two years, especially for those students who will go to university.”
“For example, you’re in fourth year now and based on the assessment, you are fit to enter university. You will then take your Grades 11 and 12 in the university of your choice,” the official said.
The difference is that senior high school in private schools will be at cost, while public senior high school will be offered for free, beginning school year 2016-2017.
K to 12 aims to produce more qualified high school graduates by adding institutionalized public kindergarten and two years of senior high school to the current 10-year elementary-high school cycle.
In the additional two years, students may take up their choice specialization and then opt to join the workforce upon high school graduation, or pursue a college education.
Under the models being drafted for HEIs, Mateo said the government may also subsidize the students’ enrollment in private senior high school under the Government Assistance to Student and Teachers in Private Education (Gastpe).
“Instead of building additional classrooms, we will pay for the space in private schools that will now offer Grades 11 and 12,” said Mateo.
Another option is for instructors and professors of colleges and universities to handle classes in Grade 11 and 12.
“We’re already at the stage of fine tuning these three models,” Mateo said.
Private colleges and universities that will offer Grades 11 and 12 will have to get a license from the DepEd, he added.
He said private schools may even start offering the two additional grade levels ahead of the DepEd, as long as they are prepared with a curriculum compliant with the department’s design and have facilities and trained teachers to handle the classes.
“They can already start that. It’s OK if they start ahead of us. It’s not a question of who starts first but, rather, how ready are we? It’s the entire country that will benefit from this,” said Mateo.