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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

P438m for senior high assessment program

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A total of P438.16 million has been allocated to fund the assessment of senior high school (SHS) students in the technical-vocational livelihood (TVL) track.

Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Culture made the disclosure during the panel’s resumption of its deliberation on House Bill 8242.

The bill, authored by Zambales Rep. Doris Maniquiz, proposes to exempt senior high school (SHS) students under the SHS TVL track and other SHS tracks requiring certifications from paying assessment fees.

Romulo explained that under Special Provision 8 of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or national government budget for 2024, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority has a
P438.16-million allotment for the Senior High School Assessment and Certification Support Program. The Department of Education (DepEd) and TESDA shall jointly develop guidelines for the operationalization of the program.

Romulo said senior high school students under the TVL Track should not only get a diploma from DepEd but also a National Certificate (NC) from TESDA if they qualify in the competency exam.

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Leila Areola, director of the DepEd Bureau of Learning Delivery, said it will be advantageous for learners to be exempt from assessment fees, adding that talks are ongoing with TESDA about the matter.

“Most likely, it will be how many of our learners will get into this
assessment so we’ll get to find out whether that amount is going to
cover all our learners in senior high school,” Areola said.

TESDA Policy and Planning Division chief Ma. Linda Andrade said they are now drafting the joint memorandum circular for this.

Romulo queried if it is possible for a graduating learner to be given
a diploma but without a NC. Areola said this happens when the learner fails to pass the assessment examination.

Romulo said the situation is disadvantageous for the tech-voc learner compared to a student in the academic track.

“(In) the new academic track, lahat nung (all of the) units na
kinukuha niya kailangan ipasa niya di ba para mabigyan ninyo ng (that he took should be passed before he is given a) diploma. Pero sa (But in the) TVL Track lumalabas makapasa siya ng (it turns out that if he passes) 22 of the 33 or 32 subjects, magga-(he will) graduate siya.

Hindi ba (Is is not) unfair iyon sa lahat ng (to all) strands ng (of)
academic track? In the sports track, and Arts and Design? Hindi ba (Is it not) unfair because effectively, magbibigay kayo ng (you will give a) diploma sa isang magtatapos ng (to one who completes) Grade 12 kahit hindi siya pasado sa (although he did not pass) assessment sa kanya sa (in) TechVoc. That will be the consequence of the response you had that it is possible to give a diploma kahit walang (despite lack of) NC,” he said.

Areola explained that in the existing DepEd orders, the taking of the
NC is not yet a requirement. Romulo emphasized that the promise of K to 12 in 2013 was two-fold: college-ready and job-ready.

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