DUMAGUETE CITY, May 17 (PIA) – Vouchers under the Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS-VP) of the Department of Education (DepEd) for school year 2017 to 2018 shall be redeemed within the first semester of said year.
DepEd-Dumaguete City Division Curriculum Implementation Division Chief Dr. Judith Mapue disclosed this during a Kapihan sa PIA forum here yesterday.
Mapue said this is part of the guidelines governing the implementation of Senior High School Program effective school year 2017 to 2018 or DepEd Order No. 19 s. 2017.
“Vouchers should be redeemed in the first semester of school year 2017 to 2018, and shall no longer be valid if not redeemed in the said period,” Mapue said.
The department order also stated that the voucher program covers the two years of SHS, Grades 11 and 12, and if the beneficiary extends beyond two years, the voucher covers only the first two years.
Those who are automatically qualified for this program are Grade 10 completers from public Junior High School, State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs), and Grade 10 completers from private secondary schools who are Educational Service Contracting (ESC) grantees.
Dr. Mapue disclosed that this is the second year of the implementation of SHS VP.
The application for SHS VP for academic year 2017 to 2018 was opened in January and ended in February this year.
DepEd then re-opened the application through online on May 1 to 15 but this time, the deadline is non-extendable, Mapue said.
Dumaguete City has a total of 12 private schools, with one SUC offering SHS.
Out of the seven public secondary schools in the city, only three offer SHS.
“We found out that a lot of our children are transferring to public school and this year we will be opening three more which are Piapi High School, Junob National High School, and Camanjac National High School," said Mapue.
SHS VP is one of the initiatives of the government to make basic education accessible and affordable for Filipino learners nationwide.
This program provides a subsidy for Grade 10 completers who wish to pursue SHS education in private schools offering SHS.
Mapue also said that the amount that the voucher program beneficiaries in Dumaguete City will receive if they are enrolled in a private school is at P17, 500 and P8,750 when they enroll in a SUC.
SHS in public secondary schools are free, thus, SHS VP is not applicable in public high schools.
Meanwhile, DepEd-Division of Negros Oriental School Governance and Operations Division Chief (SGOD) Dr. Rachel Picardal, who was also part of the panel of resource speakers during the Kapihan, said the voucher program will be forfeited if they transfer to another school within the second semester.
“They have to stay in the school where they are enrolled in the first semester. If the student transfers to another school during the second semester their voucher program will be forfeited. It’s because the funds were already disbursed to the school where the student was enrolled in,” Picardal said.
Other reasons for forfeiture of SHS VP include students dropping out in the middle of the school year, if the students don’t re-enroll in the following school year, failed to be promoted to the next grade level or retained to the same grade level, transfer to another SHS within the school year and transfer to a DepEd SHS.
Picardal said the DepEd-Division of Negros Oriental is also ready to implement the second year of SHS VP this school year while gearing up for the first year implementation of Grade 12.
She disclosed that they have hired 300 new teachers who will be trained in handling Grade 12.
With this, DepEd encouraged all school-aged youth to enroll in any school offering SHS.
“We appeal to young people and Grade 10 students to go senior high. SHS is free in public schools and there is subsidy when you go to private schools. Do not waste this chance. This is our chance to go to school with the (ongoing) preparations of the teachers, facilities and schools. Grab this chance. Our target is 'no one is left is behind.' All school children are in school,” Mapue added. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)