National PTA plea: Extend senior high in SUCs | Inquirer News

National PTA plea: Extend senior high in SUCs

High schools students in a line

MANILA, Philippines — Several groups of education stakeholders are urging the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and the Department of Education (DepEd) to continue offering senior high school programs in state universities and colleges (SUCs) as well as in local universities and colleges (LUCs) at least for another year.

SUCs are those fully subsidized by the national government while LUCs are those funded and run by local governments.


In a radio interview on Saturday, National Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) Philippines president Willy Rodriguez said the extension would allow more time for public schools, teachers, students, and parents to prepare for the changes.


“Right now, we can say that the parents and students are not yet ready for this issue. The DepEd is also not yet prepared for this,” Rodriguez said.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers also urged the DepEd and CHEd to “reconsider” the directive and “to recognize the importance of senior high school programs in LUCs and SUCs as integral components of the public education system.”

READ: Lawmakers slam ‘abrupt’ CHEd memorandum

Added money problem

In a statement, ACT said the discontinuation of senior high school programs in LUCs and SUCs would pose “significant impact on students, particularly those at risk of losing access to free education due to financial constraints.”

The directive, they claimed, might compel students to pursue education in private schools, which would impose undue financial burden on their families.

“The government must take responsibility for providing adequate support, including a higher education budget, to address basic backlogs. This should encompass the construction of enough classrooms and facilities, provision of sufficient learning equipment and materials, and hiring of adequate number of teachers and education support personnel,” it said.


ACT chair Vladimer Quetua said given the current shortages in facilities in basic education, the order to stop offering the senior high school program would only worsen the situation, particularly the shortage of classrooms, learning materials and equipment.

It could also result in more overloading of the teachers’ workload.

In a joint statement, the Teacher’s Dignity Coalition and Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan warned that halting the program might result in “economic displacement” of teachers and also “threaten our learners’ right to accessible and quality education.”

Domino effect

“We fear that mechanically following suit without serious consideration of the drawbacks on education stakeholders will lead to another learning crisis leaving 17,700 students affected by dislocation and hundreds of thousands more by imminent congestion,” the groups said.

In a memorandum issued by CHEd Chair Prospero de Vera III dated Dec. 18, 2023, he directed the governing bodies of state universities to discontinue their senior high school programs “as there is no longer legal basis to fund the same.”

He noted the engagement of SUCs and LUCs in basic education, through the senior high school program, was limited to the five-year transition period of the K-12 program under Republic Act No. 10533, which was from school year 2016-2017 to SY 2020-2021.

Both the CHEd and DepEd gave an assurance no students would be displaced by the move.

Responding to these concerns, De Vera said the commission’s order issued in December, directed presidents or officers in charge of SUCs and LUCs to talk with their governing bodies “so appropriate action can be done.”

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He added they were “ready to sit down with all education stakeholders on this matter to ensure that no student is left behind in their desire to get educated.”

Assistant Education Secretary Francis Bringas assured public schools are prepared to absorb the students.

TAGS: National Parents-Teachers Association Philippines, senior high school program, state universities and colleges

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