Senior High School (SHS) students looking for a more varied mix of program offerings to choose from will have to consider enrolling in private secondary schools and universities after 138 public secondary schools have limited curriculum to suit their academic choices.
Under the SHS specialized subjects are the academic track offering four strands – Accountancy, Business and Management Â (ABM), Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), General Academic Strand (GAS) and Maritime Specialization.
SHS program offerings also include Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) track, Sports track and the Arts and Design track.
According to the Department of Education (DepEd) list of program offerings of Â SHS public secondary schools in Bohol, 101 schools provided students with a mix of GAS and TVL subjects, 15 with TVL only and 18 offering subjects under GAS only.
However, students will have a more varied choice from four national high schools (NHS) offering four programs under the academic track – Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM), Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and General Academic Strand (GAS).
The three other programs offered were TVL, Arts and Design and Sports.
The four national high schools are the Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (DCPNHS), Tagbilaran City, Cangawa NHS in Buenavista, Uban NHS in Ubay and Tubigon West Central HS in Tubigon.
This scenario will either flood public schools with students who cannot afford the expensive fees of private secondary, schools, colleges and universities or burden the parents with additional school expenses.
According to the DepEd, in principle, the government can save more if more students are enrolled in private schools rather than building more classrooms and hire teachers needed for SHS.
Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, quoted by media saying “subsidizing students in private schools is less costly than if these students are in public schools”.
But parents balked at the P17,500 per year subsidy of government to students enrolled in private schools as too small to compensate for the high tuition fees charged by private schools.
Extending subsidy to private schools address the governmentâ€™s logistical problem but also the concern of private colleges and universities, which would not have freshman enrollees in 2016 and 2017, according to Luistro.
DepEd is looking at a 60:40 ratio between public schools and private schools to accomodate more than 2 million SHS students. In Bohol, itâ€™s a lopsided 138 public schools to 31 private schools.
The Senior High School (SHS) curriculum offered in the 138 public secondary schools in Bohol are “tailor fit” for the needs of the Province of Bohol as shown in the subjects on the General Academic Strand (GAS) and the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) Track under the SHS Specialized Subjects.
As an agriculture based province, the SHS subjects focused on track specializations on agri-fishery curriculum such as rice machinery operation, agricultural crop productions, animal production and health care management, artificial swine insemination, slaughtering, aquaculture and fisheries related activities.
Tourism related subjects under TVL are food and beverage, travel Â and guiding services, tourism promotion while computer hardware services, electrical installation, automotive and medical transcription are also in the TVL menu.
According to the DepEd, senior high school programs should cater to needs of the locality in order to enable graduates who will not pursue college a good chance at employment or entrepreneurship.
Senior high schools have to localize their technical-vocational or entrepreneurial programs, Luistro said.
Among the private high school offering SHS, only Victoriano D. Tirol Advanced Learning Center (VDT-ALC) provided the complete set of Â seven program offerings of ABM, HUMSS, STEM, GAS, TVL, Arts and Design and Sports.
Thirty one colleges/universities has the six program offerings except sports offered only by Holy Name University and VDT-ALC while Cristal E-College is the only school in Bohol among the 43 nationwide that offers SHS maritime specialization.
Bohol Island State University (BISU) is offering TVL on their Clarin, Candijay, Bilar, Calape, Balilihan and the Main campuses.
SHS covers the last two years of the K to 12 program and includes Grades 11 and 12.Â In SHS, students will go through a core curriculum a subjects under a track of their choice, according to the DepED website. (Chito M. Visarra)