ONE SOLUTION to UST’s K to 12 woes will be a “foreign” one.

International students will make up for the lack of freshmen in Academic Year 2016-2017 when the K to 12 program goes in full swing.

“We are for the openness of the University as a Catholic university to admit students coming from [other countries] to form them according to our mission [and] vision,” Secretary General Fr. Winston Cabading, O.P. said in an interview with the Varsitarian.

Cabading said the University won’t suffer from the lack of freshmen with the adoption of a plan of action for the K to 12 transition period in 2016. “We [are] ready. [The] board of trustees [has] already approved the creation of a senior high school. We’re [just] waiting for the approval from [the] Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education,” he said.

Another measure was to increase freshmen enrollment this year, according to Marie Ann Vargas, director of the Office for Admissions. The number of freshmen enrollees increased by 7.8 percent to 13,049 this year from 12,103 last year, data showed.

Vargas said the University would most likely increase freshmen admission again next year.

University administrators are also crafting various schemes to lessen the possibility of leaving teachers jobless, according to Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Clarita Carillo.

Carillo said the planned three-unit reduction in the maximum teaching load, a certification training for teachers, the conversion of teaching loads into research loads, and the option to take a paid study leave were among the measures being readied to avoid retrenchment.

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“We are considering all possible strategies to ensure that we cushion the impact of the transition period on the faculty. Even prior to the release of the Joint Guidelines on the Labor and Management Component [of the K to 12 program], the University has already identified several possible options that will help address loading problems,” Carillo said in an email to the Varsitarian.

The three-unit reduction in the maximum teaching load of 24 units is expected to produce more teaching loads for distribution as stated in Article 9 Section 8 of the 2011-2016 collective bargaining agreement between UST and the UST Faculty Union (USTFU), Carillo explained.

The University will also open a Senior High School where qualified general education professors can handle subjects under the curricula of Grades 11 and 12. By 2016, UST High School will be known as the UST Junior High School while the UST Education High School will retain its identity as the laboratory high school department of the College of Education.

Representation sought

However, USTFU External Vice President Rene Tadle said no concrete plans had been presented to the faculty members.

Tadle also said that USTFU had reached out to the University administration as early as 2012 to include the faculty in discussions relating to the K to 12, but to no avail.

Aside from teachers and administrators, parents also want representation.

Revenendo Vargas, board member of the UST High School Parents’ Association and founding chairman of the Parents Advocacy for Children’s Education (PACE), said parents were not consulted in the K to 12 discussions both in the University and the national level. Parents have been seeking for representation in K to 12 discussions since 2011, he said.

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“We should be consulted because we are the ones affected. The fact that we chose these schools, kami dapat ang mag-establish ng partnerships [with the school] but what happened is parang naisantabi kami,” he said.

The K to 12 scheme does not assure employment after senior high school, Vargas pointed out. PACE is planning to collect one million signatures to pressure the government to suspend the K to 12 implementation, he said.

More faculty

This year, the University hired more faculty members despite retrenchments elsewhere due to the implementation of K to 12.

Data from the Office for Faculty Evaluation and Development showed that 87 faculty members retired last year while 130 new faculty members were hired this academic year as of July 8.

A study by the Commision on Higher Education and the Department of Labor and Employment claims that an estimated 85,000 teaching and nonteaching staff nationwide are at risk of displacement once the K to 12 program is fully implemented in 2016.

The K to 12 Program or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 requires two additional years of education. In 2016, fourth-year high school students will enroll in Grade 11 instead of going to first-year college. Grade 12 will be introduced the following year. Arianne F. Merez and Jerome P. Villanueva


  1. If I take the entrance exam in 2017 does that mean that I can go to university in that year also?
    They say that no one in my batch are going to university in 2017 because my batch in the Philippines are the first batch of K12, will that k12 affect me in my university in 2017?
    By the time that they’re still in 6th year of high school I already graduated from 6th year,so I’m confused like if I go to the Philippines in 2017 can I continue my studies as an university student in UST or do I still have to wait for the first batch of k12 to graduate from high school so that I can enter UST?

  2. Our school has a 5-year course curriculum. But, we are allowed to be pulled out of the school at fourth year and be given our transcript of records, certificate of good moral and grades and other stuff. But, since we are currently at our 4th year and we wouldn’t really be much considered as graduates of our school if we dont finish fifth year, we are afraid that there will be no colleges or universities that will accept us since the K-12 program is still ongoing. I would just like to ask if UST is 100% guaranteed that they will accept at AY 2016-2017(?)… And if ever we do pull out of fourth year and apply for AY 2015-2016, would we be equally treated like the other students who have a high school diploma? (We can get all of the documents except for the high school diploma) Thank you..

  3. I would just like to ask, so I’m from Brunei but also a Filipino and I will be graduating here from year 11 by the end of 2015. I will be coming back to the Philippines by 2016 but my problem is do I still have to get to senior high school or will I be able to proceed to college already ? Thanks. Sincerely hoping for your very kind reply.

  4. Hi. I just have a few questions I finished my k-12 year here in u.s and apparently decided to study in Philippines 2016 for my first year college so, I just wonder if I’m illegible to go right away in my first year college? Or do I have to wait until the first batch of k-12 be graduate?

  5. I just want to asked if UST Education High School will be accepting new students for Grade 11 & 12 for 2016? I’m interested to enroll my daughter. She passed the entrance exam before but we decided to continue her high school at Manila Science but for Grade 11&12 I wanted her to transfer at UST Education High School. I’ll be waiting for a reply. Thank you and God bless 🙂

  6. Hello. I’m also hoping I could enroll in college next year (2016). I finished my 9 years of pre-university curriculum and a year here in Japan. Therefore, I will be having 10 years of education on March 2016. Thank you so much


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