Zamboanga City – In preparation for the full implementation of Senior High School (SHS) in June 2016, the Department of Education (DepEd) strengthened its groundwork through a planning and orientation session on the SHS curriculum with key officials in DepEd-ARMM.

Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC emphasized the critical role of educators in identifying the needs inside the classroom to effectively implement SHS. He said, “We can always base everything on the curriculum we have already formulated, but I assure you, plain implementation of the curriculum will not bear quality results.” He then added that “if change is needed, we need to be the change for our country – on guard with all the needed changes in education.”

He said that the reforms meant “not only for education itself but also reforming the ways of the Department, its officials, administrators, and educators.”

He underscored that the new curriculum is culture-based, explaining that it is “newly revised and programs are updated but the belief stays the same: access to quality education for all.”

Luistro further discussed the overview of SHS with Regional Secretary Atty. Jamar Kulayan and other DepEd officials. Together with Undersecretary for Programs and Projects Dina Ocampo, Undersecretary for Finance and Administration Francisco Varela, and DepEd-ARMM Assistant Secretary for Planning Noor Saada, Luistro and Kulayan laid out the goals and expectations for the coming nationwide implementation of Grades 11 and 12 next year and in 2017, respectively.

Regional planning sessions

The ARMM event is the last in a series of planning sessions for SHS implementation. Beginning with the National Capital Region (NCR), Region 3, and Region 4A, the DepEd Central Office SHS Implementation Team sat down with regional and division planning officers, SHS coordinators, and local education officials to identify potential SHS, determine track offerings per school that are relevant to the communities, and list down resource requirements.

DepEd aims to have at least one DepEd SHS per city or municipality by June 2016.

The SHS curriculum contains four tracks that learners and schools may choose from: technical-vocational-livelihood, academic, sports, and arts & design, which would help prepare graduates for higher education, entrepreneurship, further middle-level skills development, or work. All tracks contain a core curriculum that would enable graduates to pursue higher education should they wish.