The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) urges high school graduates who have been unable to proceed to tertiary education, or college students who stopped schooling, to go back to college this SY 2017-2018 before the new higher education curriculum is implemented in SY 2018-2019.
Collectively called “Lifelong Learners,” these are graduates who have obtained high school diplomas in SY 2014-2015 or earlier under the old 10-year basic education curriculum.
“Now is really the best chance to go back to college. By next year, Lifelong Learners who would want to continue their undergraduate studies will face more requirements in going back to school, as colleges and universities may require them to take bridging programs or additional subjects in line with the competencies required in the new GE curriculum,“ CHED Chairperson Patricia B. Licuanan said.
Licuanan further explains that these requirements are brought about by the full implementation of the K to 12 Program, particularly the transition to the revised general education (GE) curriculum starting June 2018.
According to CHED Memorandum Order No. 10, series of 2017, Lifelong Learners may enroll in their preferred higher education program beyond SY 2017-2018, provided that they fulfil the admission requirements of colleges and universities they intend to study in.
“We fully recognize the financial constraints that hamper our Lifelong Learners from pursuing their education. As such, we will be implementing a free tuition scheme in our SUCs this year and continue to provide scholarship programs to eligible students. These interventions underline our efforts and commitment here at CHED to provide wider access to quality higher education nationwide,” Licuanan added.
At the same time, CHED is also calling on all higher education institutions (HEIs) nationwide to accommodate Lifelong Learners this coming school year by extending the deadline for applications and enrollment in SY 2017-2018, and directing students to apply for the Student Financial Assistance Program (StuFAPs) offered by CHED.
HEIs are also encouraged to offer special programs that will address the needs of this group, such as support for adult learners that have been out of formal education for a long time, and arrangements such as distance learning, modularized programs, and assessments in line with the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation (ETEEAP).
As part of the long-term strategy of the government in addressing skills mismatch and ensuring employability of all graduates including Lifelong Learners, HEIs are also encouraged to 1) enhance and update their curricula and program offerings to respond to industry needs; 2) explore partnerships with other HEIs, private sector, government, and civil society; 3) and align strategies with regional development plans, national priorities, and emerging trends. The CHED K to 12 Transition Program is offering grant programs to support HEIs and personnel in this undertaking.