Senior High School Voucher Program
Republic Act No. 10533 (RA 10533), otherwise known as the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, lengthens Philippine basic education from 10 years to 13 years with the addition of Kindergarten and Grades 11 and 12 in Senior High School (SHS). Grade 11 was introduced in Schol Year (SY) 2016-17 and Grade 12 will be introduced in SY 2017-2018.
RA 10533 explicitly expands Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (E-GASTPE or RA 8545) to include Grades 11 and 12. RA 10533 further mandates the Department of Education (DepEd) to formulate programs to enact the abovementioned provision based on the principles of public-private partnership. In this regard, DepEd Order No. 11, series of 2015 (DO 11 s. 2015) introduced the Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP) as a mechanism to provide financial support to qualified students in SHS.
RA 10533 supports Article XIV Section 2.3 of the Philippine Constitution of 1987 which mandates the State to establish a system of, among others, subsidies and incentives to deserving individuals in both public and private schools.
The intent of this DepEd Order is to provide clear and detailed guidelines to schools in processing vouchers.
The SHS Voucher Program intends to:
- Uphold the right to quality basic education by increasing access to SHS;
- Increase the diversity of SHS providers beyond the current configuration. This in turn will engender a more dynamic system with schools deciding and innovating on their own;
- Provide greater choice to students and their families in deciding the SHS program that caters to their needs and career goals
These objectives ultimately lead to the very purpose of K to 12 reform: relevant and high-quality education. As such, the SHS VP is mean to be a long-term program of DepEd.
Role of PEAC
The Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC) has been contracted by the DepEd to administer the SHS VP. PEAC is the trustee of the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE), a perpetual fund created to provide assistance to private education in the country. PEAC is represented nationally by its National Secretariat (PEAC NS) and in each region by its Regional Secretariats (PEAC RS).
The PEAC NS has the following responsibilities:
- Provide the infrastructure, systems, coordination and controls required for the smooth implementation of the SHS VP
- Provide in-service training of teachers in VP-participating SHSs and conduct pertinent research (see http://peac.org.ph/research/ for details on these programs).
The PEAC RSs shall be the first line of program support to ESC-participating JHSs in the regions.
The PEAC RS has the following responsibilities:
- Manage day-to-day implementation and coordinate its efforts with its efforts with its RPCom and the PEAC NS
- Advise, guide and/or assist schools in complying with the guidelines
- Conduct field audits and training and mentoring sessions as may be needed in their regions.
The Regional Program Committees (RPComs) shall oversee compliance of participating schools in their regions with the policies and guidelines of the GASTPE programs of assistance. It shall resolve problems that may occur and recommend measures to improve program implementation. The RPCom in each region is composed of representatives from DepEd and the PEAC RS with the DepEd Regional Director as Chair and the PEAC Regional Program Director as Co-Chair.
Schools shall provide assistance and guidance to uphold student choice in the SHS VP. Junior and senior high schools, both public and private, must provide career guidance programs, prepare documents requested by students, and promptly encode complete and accurate information in the LIS and EBEIS. In addition, VP-participating SHSs shall communicate the tracks and strands they offer, encode the information required in the VMS, prepare billing statement packages, orient VPBs and their parents on the SHS VP, and comply with these program guidelines.
(from DO 19, s.2017: Guidelines on the Implementation of the Senior High School Voucher Program Effective School Year 2017-2018)