By: Edwin James R. Calingasan
Andy McIntyre once said, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” Around 2016, schools across the Philippines, whether public and private, started their own Senior High School program of the Department of Education (DepEd) with the help of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 signed by the former President Benigno Aquino III last May 15, 2013. With the goal to improve employability and help students prepare for college, the program has yet to prove itself to the country. Currently, it is receiving negative backlash from citizens about issues like graduates not being able to work, finance status of students and more, making the system to more likely undergo more changes over the next years to further improve its quality and reputation among the Filipino people.
According to the survey conducted by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), one out of five companies are open to give jobs to Senior High School graduates as it is part of their HR policy to require a degree. This greatly alarms upcoming graduates since being able to get jobs now will be hard. According to Marlon Mina of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), there is still hope for graduates if they work hard to improve their 21st century skills like critical thinking, team cooperation, better communication and innovation. DepEd is now cooperating with other companies in order to open more jobs for Senior High School graduates. It was also added that under the program, students needed to have an on-the-job training for 80 hours.
Meanwhile, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said that teachers, parents, and students “suffer every day the catastrophic experiment that is the K-12 curriculum as it has only managed to worsen the crises in the Philippine educational system.” The group also alleged that “privatisation” of basic education has “worsened” as the government “depended primarily in private schools to provide Senior High School education instead of investing on the construction” of public SHSs.
Overall, the Senior High School program greatly affects upcoming students in the future as others suggest that it may be a waste of time and money for this would have been studied further prior implementation. However, with the additional two years, this does not only prepare the students but also give them time to think more whether they will continue to college or apply for a job. The government is doing its best for now to further continue and improve the program over the next years, hoping that it will become more effective and systematic on its implementation.
 Rappler.com. (2013, June 11). INFOGRAPHIC: 10 things about K to 12. Retrieved December 11, 2019, from https://www.rappler.com/nation/30207-infographic-ten- things-k12.
 News, A. B. S.-C. B. N. (2018, March 9). 4 sa 5 kompanya, ‘di bukas’ sa pag-hire ng K-12 graduates: survey. Retrieved from https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/ 03/09/18/4-sa-5-kompanya-di-bukas-sa-pag-hire-ng-k-12-graduates-survey.
 Public, private schools call for thorough review of K to 12. (2019, October 23). Retrieved December 11, 2019, from https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/10/23/public- private-schools-call-for-thorough-review-of-k-to-12/.