Government to subsidize senior high school program, says Palace official

A Palace official on Sunday has assured that the implementation of the senior high school program will be subsidized by the government.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said he was informed by Education Secretary Armin Luisto that the government subsidy is through the voucher system.

“The senior high school program, which will be offered this year, will include a government subsidy through the voucher system. Around 90 percent of all grade 11 enrollees in private schools, SUCs and LUCs will be voucher beneficiaries. Many senior high schools have announced they have no additional fees or top-up beyond the voucher amount. Of course, those that will enroll in the SH program in public schools will not need to pay any fees,” said Coloma quoting the Education secretary during a radio interview over Radyo ng Bayan.

Parents have expressed concern over the additional cost of sending their children to senior high school as required in the K-to-12 basic education program.

“Such concerns may have arisen from lack of information on and understanding of the policies and processes put in place by government to ensure a smooth transition into and full implementation of the K to 12 program, particularly on the inception of a senior high school program that will add two years, grades 11 and 12 to the free universal basic education program as mandated by the Constitution,” explained Coloma.

Coloma said the Department of Education has allocated a budget of around P12 billion to ensure that all Grade 10 graduates would be able to enter the senior high school program.

“Ayon naman po kay DepEd Undersecretary Reynaldo Laguda, naglaan ng sapat na pondo o budget ang DepEd na humigit kumulang sa 12 bilyong piso para sa tinatayang 1.5 milyong mag-aaral, 1.5 million students na papasok sa senior high school program. Tinitiyak ng DepEd na lahat ng mga nagtapos na sa grade 10 ay makatutungtong sa SHS program,” said Coloma.

The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School [SHS]) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship. PND (jm)