Breakthrough in the History of the Philippine Education System
University of Makati Oval, Saturday, April 11 – The biggest number
of senior high school graduates in the country was once again recorded by the
Higher School ng UMak (HSU) as 2,669 graduates received their senior high
school diplomas from national and local officials led by Makati Mayor Jejomar
Erwin Binay, Jr., Department of Education (DepEd)-Bureau of Secondary Education
Director Jocelyn Andaya, DepEd Makati Superintendent Dominico Idanan, UMak
Executive Vice President Raymundo Arcega, and UMak Vice President for Academic
Affairs Dalisay Brawner.
It may be recalled that University
of Makati (UMak) was one of only 33 institutions in the country that piloted
the K to 12 Senior High School Program in 2012.
With the blessings of Mayor Binay, UMak President Tomas Lopez, Jr. boldly
accepted the invitation from DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro by declaring a
moratorium on the acceptance of first year college students for two years. This paved the way for the full
implementation of the program, unlike other institutions that made it optional
for the students and opened only one or two pilot sections.
Lopez prophesied that “this educational reform can be the key to unlock the
full potential of the 21st century Filipino” during the orientation
summit and soft launch in 2012. Now on
its fourth school year of implementation and with two batches of senior high
school students successfully graduated, the HSU is living proof of an
educational reform that has enhanced the students’ learning-to-learn
competencies in the context of Filipino culture and values, while equipping
them with course options aligned with their area of interest for specialization
or potential work opportunities. The HSU
graduates are therefore ready for the world – be it for the world of higher
education or the world of work.
am highly confident that the Higher School ng UMak has sufficiently prepared
our graduates for the demands of tertiary education, and even for employment
should they decide to enter the workforce.
Such preparatory learning is assured with the facilities UMak provides
and its strong partnership with the business community. The theme of the Commencement Exercises, ‘A Legacy of Institutionalizing a New
Education Paradigm’, reflects the cherished thrust of UMak of proactively
embracing change to mold its students into productive, innovative and
dependable citizens and leaders of the future,” said Mayor Binay as he
congratulated the graduates.
Other key officials who graced
the event were Vice President for Administration and Finance Aurora Serrano,
University Secretary Elyxzur Ramos, HSU Dean Estrella Chan, HSU Principal Gloria
Mallari, University Registrar Ellen Punzalan, plus other academic deans,
directors and heads, administrative directors and heads, and faculty members.
her Commencement Address, Dir. Andaya narrated the four-minute mile stories.
“Batch 2015, there will be times when you might encounter the four-minute mile
barrier. They come in many forms:
financial, physical, emotional, personal or even family. There might even be
people around you who say you can’t do it or that it simply couldn’t be done.
If you encounter them, it is all the more reason for you to persevere, to be
determined. Don’t be afraid or get discouraged. All it takes is faith … if you have faith even
as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to
there,’ and it would move. Nothing is impossible.”
Before concluding her speech,
Dir. Andaya paid tribute to the parents of the graduates for their untold
sacrifices to send their children to a good school. In consonance with this, Carlos Nicolas, the
2nd HSU valedictorian graduate, honored his recently departed
“To my best friend, super hero and alarm clock, to my
mother, this is for you.” Nicolas, who specialized in local government
management, recalled his mother’s financial struggle. Facing the thousands of
graduates, he recalled how he was determined to surpass the trials he and his
mother were going through so he pushed himself to study hard to earn the
coveted medal and make his mother proud.
Nicolas’ story is surely worthy of joining the ranks of the four-minute
A tripartite memorandum of
agreement was signed by DepEd, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority,
and the City Government of Makati back in August 2012 to formally launch UMak’s
senior high school modeling program, branded Higher School ng UMak or HSU. Envisioned to produce “holistically developed
learners who have 21st century skills and are prepared for higher
education, middle level skills, employment and entrepreneurship,” the HSU model
offers four tracks: 1. Academic; 2.
Technical-Vocational; 3. Sports and Arts; and 4. Needs of the Locality or
Community. All students of HSU enjoy the
privilege of free tuition, books, school supplies and uniform. (Written and Photographed by STEVE VILLACORTA)