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CHED halts SHS programs in SUCs, LUCs

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has reiterated its decision to discontinue the Senior High School (SHS) program in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs). 

In a memorandum dated December 18, CHED chairman Prospero de Vera III said that the engagement of SUCs and LUCs in basic education through SHS shall only be limited to the K-12 transition period from School Year (SY) 2016-2017 to SY 2020-2021.

De Vera said that the Department of Education (DepEd) has already issued a notice through the Private Education Assistance Committee that there should be no more Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GATSPE) beneficiaries from the SUCs and LUCs starting SY 2023-2024. 

Exempted from this are those who will be entering Grade 12 in SY 2023-2024 to finish their basic education. 

SUCs and LUCs with laboratory schools can also accept enrollees but will no longer receive vouchers.

“Considering the foregoing, the SUC Presidents/OICs are directed to bring to their respective SUC BOR/BOT the discontinuance of senior high school in SUCs as there is no longer legal basis to fund the same,” the memorandum read. 

SUCs with laboratory schools, meanwhile, were directed to present to the Board the financial implication of notice from DepEd regarding the non-issuance of vouchers for SHS enrollees in SUCs.

CHED also reminded that following the transition period, laboratory schools are only allowed to enroll a maximum of 750 students. 

In a public briefing, De Vera explained that CHED has been reminding SUCs and LUCs in the past two years to already wind down the SHS enrollment because they no longer have a legal basis to continue to accept high school students.

He pointed out that the law states that public universities should serve as higher education institutions, and should only offer degree programs in higher education.

However when the K-12 program was fully implemented in 2016, De Vera said DepEd and CHED had an agreement to allow SUCs and LUCs to accept SHS learners throughout the transition period.

“Ang problema no’n ay kulang ang mga teachers at mga rooms para sa senior high students dahil madadagdagan ng dalawang taon. Samantala sa mga public universities naman, sobra ang kanilang mga classrooms at teachers dahil wala silang mga freshmen na darating,” he said.

(The problem back then was there was a lack of teachers and classrooms for senior high students because another two years were added in their education. Public universities, meanwhile, have excess classrooms and teachers because they didn’t have incoming freshmen.)

“Ngayon, tapos na ang transition period. Puno na ang mga state universities at colleges, kailangan na nilang gamitin ang mga kwarto at mga teachers kaya’t wala nang basehan para sila ay magpatuloy na mag-offer ng senior high school. Tapos na ang legal basis nito,” he added.

(Now, the transition period is over. State universities and colleges are full and they already have to use the classrooms and teachers. There is no basis for them to continue offering senior high school.)

Based on the data from DepEd’s, about 18,000 Grade 11 students are currently enrolled in SUCs and LUCs,  Ivan Mayrina reported on “24 Oras.”

In 2016, the SHS program was offered in SUCs and LUCs.

The additional two years in high school has required more classrooms and teachers. With this, some colleges were partially vacated because there was a lack of incoming freshmen.

The SHS program was initially up until SY 2020-2021 but it was extended due to the pandemic.

DepEd said Wednesday that SHS students who are affected by the discontinuation of the SHS program in SUCs and LUCs may transfer to public schools offering basic education.

Displaced SHS learners may also opt to enroll in private schools in the next school year and avail of the voucher program.

Senator Joel Villanueva earlier asked DepEd and CHED to ensure proper coordination regarding the discontinuation of the SHS programs in SUCs and LUCs, and to consider how the changes would affect students. —Giselle Ombay/ VAL/AOL/RF, GMA Integrated News


Tags: ched, SHS, SUCs, GATSPE, news