A Pulse Asia survey has revealed that only four out of 10 Filipinos are satisfied with the senior high school program.
Based on the results of a June 19 to 23, 2023 survey commissioned by Senator Win Gatchalian, 41% of 1,200 respondents nationwide said they are satisfied with senior high school. Those who are dissatisfied are 42%, while 16% cannot say if they are satisfied or dissatisfied.
For Gatchalian, the dissatisfaction with senior high school reflects the program’s failure to deliver on its promise to make its graduates college-ready and work-ready. According to a 2020 discussion paper by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), only a little over 20% of senior high school graduates enter the labor force, while more than 70% continue with their education. The PIDS study also revealed that, in terms of basic pay per day, senior high school graduates have no clear statistically significant advantage or disadvantage compared to Grade 10 and second-year college completers.
According to the survey, the dissatisfaction with the senior high school program is higher among Classes D (44%) and E (44%). Only 38% and 42% from Classes and E, respectively, are satisfied with senior high school. Among classes ABC, 57% are satisfied with senior high school, while 27% are dissatisfied.
“Nagdagdag tayo ng dalawang taon sa high school pero para sa ating mga magulang, dagdag na gastos lang ang dulot nito. Hindi kuntento ang ating mga kababayan sa senior high school dahil hindi nila makita ang benepisyo ng programang ito,” said Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
In different parts of the country, however, levels of satisfaction and dissatisfaction with senior high school are mixed. Dissatisfaction is highest in the National Capital Region (NCR), where 53% of respondents said they are dissatisfied with senior high school while only 31% said they are satisfied.
More respondents in Luzon are satisfied (43%) than dissatisfied (35%) with senior high school. In the Visayas, those who are satisfied and dissatisfied with the program are tied at 42%. Almost half (49%) of respondents in Mindanao are dissatisfied with senior high school, while 42% are satisfied.
To address the mismatch between the skills of senior high school graduates and the demands of the labor market, Gatchalian filed the Batang Magaling Act (Senate Bill No. 2022). The proposed measure seeks to strengthen the linkages and collaboration among the Department of Education (DepEd), local government units, the academic communities, and industry partners.