“As we approach 2016 we need to make sure that everyone in DepEd is on the same page,” Rizalino Rivera, Undersecretary for Regional Operations said, adding that while DepEd field offices have already been preparing since last year, it was necessary to share ideas and best practices. A curriculum for learners Undersecretary for Programs and Projects Dina Ocampo presented the SHS curriculum and clarified that it was something that needed to be further developed by those on the field.
“The best curricula are the ones that are contextualized by those implementing it. What we’re presenting now is the ‘intended’ curriculum,” Ocampo explained, adding that the regional offices were expected to adapt the curriculum to their learners. SHS (grades 11 and 12) is divided into four tracks: technical-vocational, academic, sports, and arts & design, which would help prepare graduates for higher education, entrepreneurship, further middle skills development, or work.
All tracks contain a core curriculum that would enable graduates to pursue tertiary education should they wish. Ocampo answered queries regarding the various tracks to be offered in SHS, specifically the technical-vocational track. “We’re not ‘tech-vocalizing’ education, we’re adding tech-voc to high school,” she emphasized. “We’re not graduating dressmakers and car mechanics; we’re developing lifelong learners with critical and technical skills.”
She also echoed Education Secretary Br Armin Luistro’s previous call for private schools to establish SHS programs that will help develop their own locales. According to Ocampo, “We want to educate children so they can find or create meaningful opportunities where they are.” In establishing senior high schools, she reminded DepEd regional offices to consider economic data as well. “Look at the emerging industries in your area and see what SHS tracks fit best.”