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Oplan Balik Eskwela Frequently Asked Questions

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Who are the priority learners for admission in a public school?

DepEd Order No. 32 s. 2003 gives priority preference for admission to new entrants who are residents of the locality where the school is located , subject to the maximum class size is maintained. However, excess entrants (new or old), who are residents of the locality where the school is located shall be admitted, subject to the provisions of alternative delivery modes and adoption of double shift policy.

Will the school accept transferees without transfer requirements?

Learners from either public or private school who wish to transfer to a public school shall bring their Form 138 (Report Card) to the school where they intend to transfer. If this document is not available, the child can be admitted on the condition that the Report Card shall be submitted not later than the end of the First Grading Period (August)

Can student get clearance even if the authorized school contributions such as BSP, GSP, Red Cross, Anti-TB Fund and PTA were not paid?

DepEd Order No. 41 s. 2012 stressed  that in no case shall non-payment of voluntary  contributions or membership fees be made a basis for non-admission, non-promotion or non-issuance of clearance to a student by the school concerned.

How much should a learner pay for a lost textbook?

The amount to be paid = acquisition cost – depreciation amount, where the depreciation amount is equal to the acquisition cost divided by 5 (estimated useful life of the TXs and TMs) multiplied by the number of years the lost TX or TM has been used.

Who will pay for the student ID cards?

Identification (ID) Cards shall be provided to students at no cost. The school administration shall funds these from its MOOE. (DO 65, s.2010)

Are public school learners required to wear uniforms?

Wearing a school uniform shall not be required in public schools. Students with existing uniforms may continue using these uniforms, if they so desire, to avoid incurring additional costs for new attire (DO 65, s. 2010)


Age qualification for Kindergarten

Children who will turn five years old by the end of August (as per DO 47, s. 2016 entitled Omnibus Policy on Kindergarten Education)

Qualification for Grade 1

Learner must be a kinder completer

With K to 12, will there be an overlap between Day Care Program of LGU and DepEd Kindergarten?

No. Day Care Centers of LGUs take care of children aged 4 or below, while the DepEd Kindergarten program is intended for children who are at least 5 years

Under K to 12, will Kindergarten be a pre-requisite for entering Grade 1?

Yes. RA No. 10157, or the Kindergarten Act, Institutionalizes Kindergarten as part of the basic education system and is a pre-requisite for admission to Grade 1.

With K to 12, should schools prepare permanent records for Kindergarten students?

Yes. While assessment on readiness skills of students in Kindergarten is not academically driven, a good measure of the child’s ability to cope with formal schooling is needed for future learning interventions.

Who is in charge of Kindergarten teacher compensation?

DepEd is the main agency that employs and pays Kindergarten teachers in public schools. However, there are LGUs that help in the Kindergarten program and provide honoraria for additional Kindergarten teachers in public schools.


What is K to 12 Program?

The K to 12 Program covers 13 years of basic education with the following key stages:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7to 10 (Junior High School)
  • Grades 11 to 12 (Senior High School)

Why are we now implementing 13 years of basic education?

The Philippines is the last country in Asia and one of the only tree countries worldwide with a 10-year pre-university cycle.

A 13-year program is found to be best period for learning under basic education. It is also the recognized standard for students and professionals globally.

How will K to 12 affect the college curriculum?

The College General Education curriculum will have fewer units. Subjects that have been taken up in Basic Education will be removed from the College General Education Curriculum.

I’ve been hearing that a lot of people have not been consulted regarding K to 12. Is this true?

DepEd has always been transparent in the planning and implementation of K to 12. There have been regular consultations with various sector s since 2010, before the law was passed, during the crafting of the IRR, and during implementations. DepEd representatives have also attended various fora and conferences, criticism and suggestions regarding this.

General Senior High School Concerns (Tracks/Program Offerings Response)

What is Senior High School?

Senior High School (SHS) covers the last two years of K to 12. In SHS, students will go through a core curriculum and subjects under the track of their choice.

Will SHS mean two more years of High School?

Yes. These two additional years will equip learners with skills that will better prepare them for the future, whether it be:

  • Employment
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Skills Development (Further Tec-Voc training) Higher Education (College)

Will the additional two years of High School mean additional expense?

Not necessarily.

Senior High School “complete” basic education by making sure that the high school graduate is equipped to work, entrepreneurship, or higher education. This is a step up from the 10-year cycle where high school graduates still need further education (and expenses) to be ready for the world.

SHS will be offered free in public schools and there will be a voucher program in place for public junior high school completers as well as ESC beneficiaries of private schools should they choose to take SHS in private institutions.

This means that the burden of expenses for the additional two years need not be completely shouldered by parents.

How will students choose their Senior High School Specializations?

Students will undergo assessments to determine their strengths and interests. This will include an aptitude test, a career assessment exam and an occupational interest inventory for high schools. Career advocacy activities will also be conducted to help guide students in choosing their specialization or track.

How will student specialization / tracks be distributed across Senior High Schools?

Specializations or tracks to be offered will be distributed according to the resources available in the area, the needs and interests of most students, and the opportunities and demands of the community.

Will SHS ensure employment for me?

  • SHS creates the following opportunities:
  • Standard requirements will be applied to make sure graduates know enough to be hirable.
  • You will now able to apply for TESDA Certificate of Competency (COCs) and National Certificates (NCs) to provide you with better work opportunities.
  • Partnerships with different companies will be offered for technical and vocational courses.
  • You can now get work experience while studying; and companies can even hire you after you graduate.
  • Entrepreneurship courses will now be included. Instead of being employed, you can choose to start your own business after graduating, or choose to further your education by going to college.
  • SHS, as part of the K to 12 Basic Curriculum, was developed in line with the curriculum of the Commission on Higher Education.

How will SHS affect my college education?

SHS , as part of the K to 12 Basic Curriculum, was developed in line with the curriculum of the CHED – the governing body for college and university education in the Philippines.
This ensures that by the time you graduate from Senior High School, you will have the standard knowledge, skills and competencies needed to go to college.

Is SHS really necessary? Must I go to SHS?

Yes, according to law. Beginning SY 2016-2017, you must go through Grades 11 and 12 to graduate from High School.

If I choose not to go to SHS, what happens to me?

You will be a Grade 10 completer, but not a high school graduate. Elementary graduates are those who finish grade 6; high school graduates must have finished grade 12.

What will I learn in SHS that the current high school curriculum doesn’t include?

  • SHS covered eight learning areas as part of this core curriculum, and adds specific tracks (similar to college courses) based on four discipline.
  • Academic (which includes Business, science & Engineering, Humanities & Social Science, and a General Academic strand)
  • Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (with highly specialized subjects with TESDA qualifications)
  • Sports
  • Arts and Design
  • SHS students may pick a track based on how he or she will want to proceed after high school graduation.

Where will SHS be implemented? Will my school offer SHS?

Existing public and private schools, including colleges, universities and technical institutions may offer Senior High School.

There may also be stand-alone Senior High Schools established by DepEd or private organizations.

Which private institutions are allowed to offer SHS?

All schools and organizations must first apply for a permit from DepEd. Different institutions may also partner with each other and apply to offer SHS as a group.

Temporary permits will be issued by DepEd to those who meet the requirements for the SHS Program.

Who receives, evaluates and approves the applications for provisional SHS permits? Who issues the permits?

The SHS-National task force (SHS-NTF) will receive applications from interested parties, establish the process and criteria in evaluating selected applicants, and evaluate the SHS applications of non-DepEd schools.

Regional Offices will be deputized to conduct on-site validation for all applicants. The on-site validation will focus on the provision of SHS requirements for the proposed track/strand, and will certify that a school exhibits the necessary SHS requirements to implement the program.

The DepEd Secretary approves applications for the SHS program and issues provisional permits to applicants, upon the recommendation of the Undersecretary for Programs and Projects.

General Questions on GASTPE

What is GASTPE?

GASTPE stands for Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education.
This was provided for by RA 6728 called the GASTPE Act. Which was amended by RA 8545 known as the Expanded GASTPE Act.

Why is there GASTPE?

A. To fulfill the government’s responsibility to provide and promote quality education that is accessible to all Filipino citizens.
B. To recognizes the complementary roles of public and private educational institutions in the educational system and the invaluable contribution that the private schools have made and will make to education.
C. To provide the mechanism s to improve quality in private education by maximizing the use of existing resources of private education.

Who is covered by GASTPE?

Filipino students and teachers in

A. Private

1. Secondary (high school ) education
2. Post-secondary vocational and technical education and higher education.

B. Community GASTPE stands for Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education.
Based on a set of criteria which shall include , among others:

A. Tuition fees charged by the schools.
B. Socio economic needs of each region giving priority to the Social Reform Agenda (SRA) provinces.
C. Overall performance of the school.
D. Academic qualifications.
E. Financial needs of the students and the teachers .
F. Financial needs of the schools.
G. Geographic spread and size of students population.

Preference shall be given to students whose family income is not more than P 72,000.00 or such amount as maybe determined by the state assistance council.

What are the forms of assistance under GASTPE?

A. Programs of Assistance to Students.

  1. Tuition Fee supplements in private high school (HS).
  2. HS Textbooks Assistance Fund
  3. Expansion of existing Educational Service Contracting (ESC) scheme.
  4. Voucher system of the Private Education Student Financial assistance Program.
  5. Scholarship grants to graduating HS valedictorian. and salutatorians.
  6. Tuition fee supplements in private colleges and universities.
  7. Education Loan Fund.

B. Programs of Assistance to Teachers.

  1. In-Service Training (INSET) Fund for Teachers in private HS.
  2. College Faculty Development Fund
  3. Teachers’ Salary Subsidy Fund (TSS)

Which GASTPE Programs are covered by DepEd?

ESC, TSS, INSET, and Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP)

What is PEAC?

The DepEd is the institutional owner and regulator of the GASTPE programs implements to fulfill RA 8545.
The Private Education assistance Committee (PEAC) has been contracted by DepEd to administer the GASTPE Programs; ESC, TSS, SHS VP, among others.

PEAC is represented nationally by its National Secretariat (PEAC RS).

GASTPE: Educational Service Contracting (ESC) Program

What is the ESC Program?

ESC is a GASTPE program wherein financial assistance (in the form of tuition subsidies) is extended to qualified elementary school graduates who wish to pursue secondary education in private school.

How does ESC work?

Junior High Schools (JHSs) apply and are accredited by PEAC to be part of the program. JHSs that become ESC-participating schools are given a number of slots that come with subsidies called ESC grants. Program beneficiaries are called ESC grantees.

Who are the ESC grantees?

Those who want to be ESC grantees must enroll for Grade 7 in ESC-participating schools with ESC slots. ESC grantees are selected in Grade 7. no new ESC grants are awarded at higher grade level.

In selecting grantees, ESC-participating JHSs shall give preference to graduates of public elementary schools. The school committee shall profile and assess the students considered for ESC grants and select grantees based on need, given the limited slots allocated in the school

How much is the ESC grant?

The amount of subsidy given to the grantee at Grade 7 is the same amount the grantee will receive until Grade 10. For this school year.

ESEC Grant

However, if the total school fees declared by the school in the ESC information Management System are lower than the amount of the ESC grant, the school will only be paid the total school fees.

When is the ESC valid?When is the ESC valid?

The ESC grant covers four years of JHS starting from Grade 7. If grantees are enrolled in delivery modes where JHS extends beyond four years , the grant still covers only four years.

What are the requirements for grantees?

No maintaining grades are required within the school year. The grant remains in force for the next school year if the grantee is promoted to the next grade level and enrolls in a ESC-participating JHS.

What are the requirements for grantees?

The ESC grant covers four years of JHS starting from Grade 7. If grantees are enrolled in delivery modes where JHS extends beyond four years , the grant still covers only four years.

The grant is terminated if a grantee  any one of the following:

  1. Drops out in the middle of the school year.
  2. Does not reenroll the following school year.
  3. Fails to be promoted to the next grade level or is retained at the same grade level.
  4. Is suspended for more than two weeks , dismissed or expelled by the school for disciplinary reason; or
  5. Transfers to a non-ESC-participating JHS.

Grantees who drop out due to prolonged  illness, accident , force majeure, or death of a parent or guardian may be reinstated in the ESC program, provided they submit relevant documents to PEAC. The  documents to be submitted are to support their claim i.e. for illness, a medical certificate issued by a licensed medical doctor.

Can ESC grantees transfer schools?

Transfer to another ESC-participating JHS are allowed. In cases when the applicable subsidy amount of  the releasing school is different from that of the accepting school, the accepting school will be paid the lower of the two applicable subsidy amounts. The accepting school is responsible for reporting transfer details in the ESC Information Management System.

Can I give my ESC slot to someone else?

No, the ESC grant is not a legal tender and cannot be transferred  from one student to another.

General Questions on the SHS Voucher Program

What is the SHS Voucher Program?

The SHS Voucher Program is a GASTPE program wherein a financial assistance is given to Grade 10 completers who wish to continue their SHS (Grades 11-12) education in private high schools, private or public universities or colleges, and technical-vocational institutions offering SHS.

Through the SHS Voucher Program, students and their families are able to exercise greater choice in deciding the SHS that is most relevant to their needs and career goals.

The voucher enables students to claim a “discount” or a deduction from the cost of tuition and other fees charged by a non-DepEd SHS where the students will enroll.

Who are the recipients of the SHS Voucher Program?

The following students are considered pre-qualified /automatic voucher recipients, and do not need to apply in order to avail of the voucher subsidy in the SHS VP-participating school of their choice:

  • All grade 10 completers of DepEd public JHSs and public SUC/LUC JHSs.
  • Grade 10 ESC grantees who completed their JHS in participating private schools.
  • Non-ESC Grade 10 completers from Private JHSs who wish to avail of vouchers shall be required to apply for vouchers through the PEAC National Secretariat.

Can a student with no Learner Reference Number (LRN) avail the Voucher Program

All public and private Grade 10 students of School Year 2016-2017 (who are expected to proceed to SHS in June 2017) are registered in the LIS and are assigned a LRN. Grade 10 ESC grantees in private JHS also have unique student numbers and registered in the ESC Information Management System, which is linked to the DepEd LIS.
A student who was graduated from secondary school prior to March 2015 and who was not assigned a LRN while he/she was a student can still opt to enroll in SHS (although he/she is not required to do so). This student, however, is not eligible to participate in the SHS Voucher Program. He/she may opt to enroll in a DepEd SHS, which does not charge tuition fees.

Is there a grade requirement for a student to be qualified for the VP?

There is no grade requirement for a student to qualify for the SHS VP. However, a Grade 10 completer who wishes to enroll in private school would need to comply with the school’s admission requirements like any other applicant. If a student applicant does not meet grade requirements. For example, the private school may not grant him/her admission. In this case , the student can opt to apply in other SHS provider where he/she will qualify, or he/she can decide to enroll in a DepEd SHS instead.

Is the voucher application open to Filipinos overseas transferring from Philippine schools abroad?

Yes, Filipino citizens who finished Grade 10 in Philippine Schools overseas and wish to pursue Grade 11 at the school in the Philippines can apply to be a beneficiary in the VP.

I am enrolling in a private SHS but the school refuses to admit me because I am not a voucher recipient. What should I do?

It is the private school’s prerogative and mandate to accept only voucher recipients. If you did not apply, or are not approved or eligible to be part of the VP, maybe you can consider other SHS that also offer the tracks that you want to take up.

I am an incoming Grade 11 student and VP recipient. Can I shift tracks or strands?

VPBs who wish to retain their voucher subsidy may shift to another track or strand;

  • After the first semester of grade 11 in the same school.
  • After completing Grade 11 in the same school or in another VP participating SHS.
    VP-participating SHSs shall ensure that shifters meet the required competencies of their new track or strand.

Teacher Concerns

I am a graduate of a Science/Math/ Engineering course. Can I apply as a SHS teacher?

Yes. If you are willing to teach on a part-time basis, you will not be required to take and pass the LET.

I am a hired TVI course graduate /HEI faculty practitioner. Can I apply as a SHS teacher?

Graduates of Technical-vocational courses must have the necessary certification issued by TESDA and undergo training to be administered by DepEd or HEIs.

Faculty of colleges and universities must be full-time professors and be holders of a relevant Bachelor’s degree.

DepEd and private schools may also hire practitioners with expertise in the specialized learning areas offered by K to 12 Program as part-time teachers.

I am a practitioner. Can I apply as a SHS teacher?

You may teach as part-time teacher in SHS under the track subjects.

Why not just realign the K to 12 budget to increase teacher’s salaries?

There is no K to 12 item in the national budget per se. The ongoing implementation of the K to 12 Program involves the provision of basic inputs such as classrooms, teacher items, textbooks, school seats and toilets. There are also items in the budget for computerization of classrooms, science and math equipment, and teacher training. K to 12 is a reform in the manner of content of education; it is not a single project with a line item budget.

Senior High School (SHS) Teacher Hiring

Read: Hiring Guidelines for Senior High School (SHS) Teaching Positions Effective School Year (SY) 2016-2017

Who can be hired as SHS teacher?

As provided by the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (RA 10533) the DepEd shall hire as may be relevant to the particular subject;

  • graduates of Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Music and other degree courses with shortages in qualified LET applicants;
  • graduates of technical-vocational courses who possess the necessary certification issued by the TESDA.
  • faculty of HEIs; and
  • practitioners with expertise in the specialized learning areas offered by the Basic Education Curriculum.

Constituting & Utilizing the RQA

Cutoff score is 70

  • Six (6) separate RQA shall be prepared by the Division Selection Committee according to the Six SHS Subject Groups
  • Only applicants with professional teaching license from PRC shall be given permanent appointments.
  • Per RQA displaced HEI/TVI faculty shall be appointed first before all other qualified applicants may be appointed.
  • If the RQA has already been exhausted and there are still positions to be filled, applicants who obtained ratings of 65.00 to 69.99 points may be hired

Can I teach in SHS without being a LET passer?

Yes, but only on a provisional or contractual basis.

A provisional appointment is given to those who meet all requirements except the LET. These applicants must pass the LET within 5 years of hiring.

A contractual appointment is given to those who opt for it (usually practitioners) or those who have not passed the LET but obtained a rating of 65-69 (to be considered only if RQA has been exhausted and there are still vacancies.

How are part-time SHS teachers compensated?

Compensation to part-time services will be computed proportionately.

Can a JHS teacher be a part-time teacher?

No, but a JHS teacher may apply for a full-time teaching position. A JHS teacher, however, may be given SHS teaching load.

Can fresh graduates apply for SHS teaching position?

Yes, but they may only be given Teacher 1 positions should they qualify.

Will those who have taken the English Proficiency Test (EPT) have to take it again?

Those who have taken the EPT in 2014 or later may opt to retake the test. The Division Testing Coordinator shall request to BEA the official scores of applicants who declared that they have taken the EPT in 2014 or later.

I am an NC III holder in SMAW but I do not have any teaching experience. Will I be qualified to teach in SHS?

A practitioner holding appropriate TESDA certifications but without teaching experience may be hired to teach, provided that he/she meets the 70- point cutoff for inclusion in RQA.

Determination of Rank & Salary to be Offered

Teaching rank (with corresponding salary) to be offered shall be based on the applicants’ qualifications

Options for status of employment:

  • Permanent
  • Provisional
  • Contractual

Is DepEd still accepting applications?

Check with your local DepEd division office. We do not have a national schedule of opening/closing of applications; this shall depend on the division’s teacher requirements.

(As some divisions are still lacking qualified applicants, their recruitment process is still ongoing.

Other divisions, however, have closed their applications already.)

If I am a public elementary/JHS teacher, do I still need to apply?

Yes. SHS items and their qualification standards are different.

What committee will evaluate me?

The Personnel Selection Board (DO 66, s. 2007)

What criteria will be used to evaluate me?

The criteria found in DO 3, s. 2016 shall apply to all who wish to apply for SHS.

What will be the position title and SG of a JHS Master Teacher who successfully applies for SHS teaching position?

Position title (academic rank) and SG shall depend on the qualifications he/she possesses. Refer to Annex A of DO 3, s. 2016

If I want to apply for a subject group other than what I am currently teaching, should I undergo a different evaluation process?

Considerations for Applicants Already Teaching with the DepEd

For internal applicants, DO 66, s. 2007 shall apply except for “Part III. Computation of Points”

No prioritization of internal applicants; RA 10533 prescribes that priority shall be given to displaced HEI faculty

How are part-time SHS teachers compensated?

Compensation for part-time services will be computed proportionately.

Ex. SHS Teacher I (P19,077) Salary 9,538.50
PERA: 1,000.00

Is DepEd going to release new teacher hiring guidelines for K to 10?

No. DepEd Orders 7 and 22, s. 2016 are reinforced.

Mother Tongue Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) Concerns

Which Mother Tongue will be used as the language of instruction in multi-cultural areas?

The principle of MTB-MLE is to use the language that learners are most comfortable and familiar with; therefore, the common language in the area or lingua franca shall be used as the language of instruction.

Will Mother Tongue Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) include other languages in the future?

Languages other than the 19 current mother tongues (Bahasa Sug, Bikol, Cebuano, Chabacano, Hiligaynon, Iloko, Kapampangan, Maguindanaoan, Meranao, Pangasinense, Tagalog, Waray, Ybanag, Ivatan, Sambal, Akianon, Kinaray-a, Yakan, and Surigaonon) shall be included in the MTB-MLE.

Escalation Matrix (Issue/Concern & Escalation Point and Contact Details)

SHS General Questions

Public Assistance Action Center (PAAC)
02 633-1942 02 636-1663
+63 919-456-0027

SHS VP Application Process and Approval, Voucher Management System, Billing

PEAC National Secretariat
197 Salcedo Street, 5th Floor Salamin Building, Makati City 1229
Tel. Nos. (02) 840-6000/6007
Fax No.: (02) 511-7695
Main website: www.fape.org.ph

Department of Education
Communications Division, Public Affairs Service

Mark Anthony Llego

Mark Anthony Llego, hailing from the Philippines, has made a profound impact on the teaching profession by enabling thousands of teachers nationwide to access crucial information and engage in meaningful exchanges of ideas. His contributions have significantly enhanced their instructional and supervisory capabilities, elevating the quality of education in the Philippines. Beyond his domestic influence, Mark's insightful articles on teaching have garnered international recognition, being featured on highly respected educational websites in the United States. As an agent of change, he continues to empower teachers, both locally and internationally, to excel in their roles and make a lasting difference in the lives of their students, serving as a shining example of the transformative power of knowledge-sharing and collaboration within the teaching community.

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