PASIG CITY, May 10, 2018 – With the Duterte administration investing heavily in the Senior High School (SHS) Program, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones highlighted on Thursday that results of the first two years of implementation have exceeded expectations.
“We acknowledge that there are still challenges, but the support of our President, the Cabinet, and our stakeholders, in spite of the rallies held and cases filed, is overwhelming that the initial results surpassed our expectations,” the Secretary noted.
When SHS was first implemented in School Year (SY) 2016-2017, the Department expected 700,000 enrollees in Grade 11 but around 1.5 million learners actually enrolled.
Two years hence, and with the completion of the first batch of SHS learners in 2018, DepEd has provided either free or highly subsidized SHS education to 2,733,460 learners in public and private schools for SY 2017-2018. The Department supplemented the free public school system with financial subsidies amounting to a total of P21,567,932,876 in SY 2017-2018.
Of the total amount, P20,692,903,776 funded the education of 1,207,416 SHS Voucher Program (SHS VP) Beneficiaries in private schools/state universities and colleges (SUCs)/local universities and colleges (LUCs). Furthermore, 54,604 DepEd SHS learners taking the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) Track were able to take their specialization subjects in private institutions through the Joint Delivery Voucher Program for SHS-TVL (JDVP-TVL) amounting to P875,029,100.
In regard to Transition Rate following the implementation of SHS, the proportion of Grade 10 completers who proceeded to Grade 11 registered an impressive 93% compared to the Transition Rate of 4th year high school graduates to college, which consistently went below 50%.
The end of SY 2017-2018 welcomed the first batch of 1,252,357 SHS graduates. All SHS learners, especially the 38% who finished the TVL Track, gained significant workplace exposure through the Work Immersion and a definite edge over job applicants who did not undergo SHS. Furthermore, the chances of these learners in securing jobs at the company where they had work immersion are better as these companies typically take in applicants whom they have already trained.
The Department has also put in place initiatives to enhance employment prospects, such as job fairs for SHS graduates; introduction of new and unique tracks; campaigns for the public sector to re-evaluate hiring guidelines; and DepEd’s thrust to use the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) Act (Republic Act No. 10968) as a platform to institutionalize government, industry and education sector (GIE) coordination and partnerships.
In its continuous effort to boost opportunities for SHS graduates, the Department calls on the public, GIE, and stakeholders to sustain the support and strengthen coordination to address challenges in the economic structure, job creation and matching, and market recognition.
“The responsibility of improving the employability of SHS graduates, and their life options in general, is not solely on DepEd; if it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes strong partnership and strategic coherence of both public and private sectors to develop and recognize our graduates’ competencies, and to enable them to become the productive and effective nation builders that we envision them to be,” the Education chief concluded.