Monday, February 1, 2016

DepEd-Bicol readies for hiring of SHS teachers

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 31 (PNA) -- With barely five months to go before the implementation of the K-12 program’s senior high school (SHS) curriculum, the Bicol regional office of the Department of Education (DepEd) over the weekend said it is readying for the hiring of hundreds of teachers to handle classes in this new course.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro issued on Jan. 21 DepEd Order No. 3, s. 2016 entitled “Hiring Guidelines for Senior High School (SHS) Teaching Positions Effective School Year (SY) 2016-2017”, signaling the recruitment and hiring, according to Regional Director Ramon Fiel Abcede.

The order aims to clearly define the application, selection and appointment process of SHS teachers as well as to establish professional standards and evaluation criteria which will ensure that highly competent individuals with the appropriate qualifications and specializations are hired to teach in (SHSs), Abcede said.

According to the guidelines, “DepEd recognizes that the success of any education system greatly relies on the competence of its teachers.”

Hence, one of the primary issues the department aims to address through its comprehensive implementation of the K-12 Basic Education Program is the need for highly competent teachers in SHSs, it said.

The program plans to achieve this objective through setting of professional standards that will better ensure that the teachers hired are able to significantly contribute to the development of lifelong learners, the guidelines said.

The guidelines, Abcede said, apply to the filling-up of newly-created and/or natural vacancies for teaching positions in public SHSs and shall cover the announcement of vacancies and receiving of applications; verification and validation of submitted documents; evaluation criteria and selection process of qualified applicants; and appointment of qualified applicants.

For applicants who are already teaching with the DepEd either in elementary or junior high schools (JHS), DepEd Order No. 66, s. 2007 on the “Revised Guidelines on the Appointment and Promotion of Other Teaching, Related Teaching and NonTeaching Positions” shall apply.

The hiring of around 1,000 teachers, Abcede said, shall complete the preparations in Bicol for the implementation of the SHS curriculum which will start with the opening of school year 2016-2017 in June this year.

He said that other aspects of the preparations such as the orientation school officials, organization of the implementation teams, launching of advocacy programs, conduct of consultative conferences with stakeholders, coordination with other government agencies, benchmarking of SHS pilot implementers, formulation of action plans and strengthening of the Career Guidance Program have already been completed as early as the late part of 2014.

These are all the most salient points that are needed prior to the start of the implementation of the new program, Abcede said, as he stressed that his office is seriously concerned about laying the grounds for the smooth transition that will usher in significant changes in the educational system not only in the region, but also in the whole country, in general.

DepEd-Bicol has also conducted a survey among 78,451 students from public schools and 10,710 students from private schools in the region as to their preference for SHS field of specialization.

The survey revealed that 36,027 in public and 5,956 in private schools are interested to enroll in academic track; 30,784 (public) and 3,372 (private) wish to be immersed in technical-vocational track, while the remaining 11, 640 (public) and 1,382 (private) would be into sports and arts track.

The survey was part of the intensive preparations undertaken for the implementation of the SHS curriculum which is expected to bring about a major enhancement in the basic education program as stipulated in Republic Act 10533 or K-12 Law.

Under the law, a student may choose a specialization based on his aptitude, interest and school capacity.

It is the choice of the track to undertake that will define the content of the subjects a student will take in Grades 11 and 12.

SHS subjects will fall either under the Core Curriculum or Specific Tracks.

The Core Curriculum will have to be taken by all students that include subjects in Language, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Literature, Communication, Natural Science and Philosophy.

Specific Tracks, on the other hand, fall under Academic, Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, Sports, and Arts and Design.

As stated in the K-12 Law, a SHS graduate will be ready for higher education, middle-level skills, entrepreneurship or employment.

More importantly, he will be holistically developed with 21st century skills clearly imbibed in his learning and innovation skills, effective communication, information, media and technology skills and life and career skills, Abcede stressed.

Based on the Electronic Basic Information System (EBEIS) of the DepEd on current enrollment and cohort survival rate, he said, the projected SHS enrollment is 427,975 and 69,825 for School Year 2016-2017; and 437,247 and 74,850 for School Year 2017-2018 in both public and private schools, respectively.

Of this projected enrollment, the Abcede admitted that there would be inadequacy in schools to fully absorb the learners who will enroll in Grades 11 and 12 when the SHS program opens.

An absorptive capacity survey of the public and private schools, he said, revealed that not all high schools in the region will have the capacity to offer SHS as only 452 or 70.73 percent of the 639 public and 130 or 69.14 percent of the 188 private schools have expressed willingness to offer the curriculum.

This means that of the 218,703 learners projected to enroll in public SHS by the coming school year, existing high schools can only handle 178,727 learners, which is equivalent to only 81.72 percent.

So, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Technical, Vocational Institutions should accommodate 39,976 students or 18.27 percent of the total projected enrolment, Abcede said.

Because of this, he said, his office is strengthening the advocacy campaign throughout the region in order to encourage more schools to offer SHS.

He expressed optimism that with the combined efforts of the existing high schools, public and private HEIs and TVIs, the region’s absorptive capacity to accommodate the projected enrollment in SHS will be increased.(PNA) BNB/FGS/DOC/CBD/PJN