By Merlina Hernando Malipot
Regardless of the track or strand taken in Senior High School (SHS), no Grade 12 student or graduate “shall be denied acceptance” in applying for college entrance examinations in the higher education institutions (HEIs), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said Tuesday.
CHED issued this reminder as the country welcomes the first batch of Senior High School (SHS) graduates at the end of this school year. To provide guidance to HEIs in the admission of SHS gradates to their higher education programs effective this coming Academic Year (AY) 2018-2019, the Commission has issued the policy admission.
Through CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 105 series of 2017 signed by resigned Chairperson Patricia Licuanan issued in December, the Commission adopted and promulgated the policy on the admission of SHS graduates to the HEIs effective this coming AY.
In the policy, which was issued in accordance with the pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 7722 or the Higher Education Act of 1994 and by the virtue of Commission en banc Resolution No. 944-2017, CHED noted that “all Grade 12 graduates beginning Academic Year 2017-2018 are eligible to enter college regardless of the track or strand taken in the Senior High School.”
Given this, CHED also reminded that “no Grade 12 student or graduate shall be denied acceptance in applying for college entrance examinations in the HEIs.” Likewise, CHED said that the “current Grade 12 students who were previously disallowed to take the college entrance examinations shall be given a chance by the HEIs to take the entrance examinations.”
The SHS, or Grades 11 and 12, refers to the additional two years in the country’s basic education cycle. It cover covers the last two years of the K to 12 program where the students will take up core curriculum and subjects under a track of their choice. It was implemented nationwide in SY 2016-2017.
The SHS, according to DepEd, covers eight learning areas as part of its core curriculum which includes Language, Mathematics, Science, Communication, Philosophy, Humanities, Social Science and P.E & Health.
Then specific “tracks” – which are similar to college courses – based on four disciplines will be added. These tracks include “Academic” with Science & Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM); Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM); Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS); and General Academic strands. Another track is the “Technical-Vocational-Livelihood” or TVL with Agri-Fishery Arts; Home Economics; Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Industrial Arts stands. Two more tracks are “Arts and Design” and “Sports.”
Latest data from DepEd showed that there are 2, 823, 591 SHS enrollees for SY 2017-2018. As of October 5, 2017, there were 5,965 public schools (operated and funded by DepEd) that are offering Grade 11 in 2016 and Grade 12 in 2017.
DepEd said that these public schools utilize new classrooms and facilities constructed under the 2014, 2015 and 2016 budgets of the Department or other fund sources, or use available facilities for SHS. Also, there are 4,728 private high schools, private and public universities and colleges, technical-vocational schools, and Philippine schools overseas offering Grade 11 in 2016 and Grade 12 in 2017.
An additional 182 schools will be offering Grade 11 in 2017 and Grade 12 in 2018. DepEd said that in total, there are 4,910 private high schools, private and public universities and colleges, technical-vocational schools, and Philippine schools overseas approved to offer the Senior High School Program. Included in the list are also 56 senior high schools offering Maritime Specialization.