BAGUIO CITY – Issues about the Senior High voucher system of the K to 12 academic program were clarified by Department of Education (DepEd Baguio) Curriculum Implementation Division Head Dr. Rachel Bugtong in the press conference at the Baguio City Police Office hall last week.
According to Dr. Bugtong, the Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP) which is good for two years could be applied for and availed of by Grade 10 completers, from private schools and non-Educational Service Contracting (ESC); and also from public schools and ESC grantees.
The voucher entitles the senior high entrants/Grade 11 students to claim a discount or deduction from the cost of tuition and other fees, not in cash form but disbursed to where the student is enrolled, either in private high schools, local and state universities and colleges; and technical and vocational schools, starting school year 2016-2017.
Grade 10 completers from public schools and ESC grantees from private schools are automatically qualified voucher recipients, and need not apply; while non-ESC grantees grade 10 completers from private schools could apply online, or inquire at any Department of Education (Dep-Ed) office.
Public junior high school students (JHS) receive 100% of the voucher amount, while ESC JHS students receive 80%. The amount of each voucher depends on the location of Senior High School (SHS) where the student is enrolled; at the National Capital Region (NCR) or in Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs), which include Baguio. The cost of education in the locality is also considered in the voucher.
Applications, however, are subject to review and approval, it was known, and any amount in excess of the voucher would be paid to the SHS provider by the beneficiary.
For current senior high students, a passing grade and compliance to the school’s admission requirements is needed for the next voucher approval.
In a Dep-Ed memorandum earlier issued it was known that the SHS voucher must be used in the school year immediately after JHS completion, and within two successive years. A voucher approved for a student with a medical reason may be used in preceding years, provided the condition does not persist for more than a year.
Disqualifications for the Voucher Program Beneficiary may be: dropping- out in the middle of the school year; non-enrollment the following year; failure in complying with the school’s requirements; transfer to another SHS within the schoolyear; and, transfer to a Dep-Ed SHS provider, which offers free education tract.
A Dep-Ed SHS provider in Baguio with complete education tracts is the stand alone SHS within the Baguio City Science High School compound in Irisan. /Julie G. Fianza