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A study on the factors influencing secondary students perception and preferences in

choosing a strand in senior high school

Cyruss Morning B. Co

John Jireh V. Peamora

Cyrene S. Rufo

Patricia Ysabel A. Tamayo

Ma. Jomelle Alexa C. Tanudra

Crisel Angelica C. Yao

Introduction

K-12 is a necessity to align Philippine basic education curriculum to that of the global

standards by adding two years of senior high school to the current four-year secondary

education, and another year for mandated kindergarten (Rivera, 2011). According to Cuenco

(2016), the implementation of the program prepares the students for quality integration

standards to be globally competitive. Furthermore, it also develops the competencies and

qualifications for certain occupations through intensive trainings of mentors in order to equip

our students with standardized skills. It aims to improve the knowledge and skills of Filipino

students so that they may contribute to a better society (Lacanilao, 2012). The on-going

program offers advanced education in various subject such as sports, arts, entrepreneurship,

and other important skills (Cuenco, 2016).


The Senior High School is part of the said program designed by the Department of

Education where students will study a core curriculum and subjects under a track based on the

students preference. It was made in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education

(CHED) which is the governing body for tertiary level in the Philippines. (Cuenco, 2016). The

additional two years in secondary education aims to better prepare the Filipino youth to proceed

to higher education, employment, entrepreneurship, or mid-level skills development, and to be

at par with international standards (Lagon, 2014). The Academic Track consists of four

Strands:

The General Academic Strand, where students who have yet to decide which path to take

will most likely be because it offers different subjects taken from the other available strands

(Cruz, 2014); The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Strand whose

related fields include, but are not limited to accounting, computer science, electrical

engineering, mechanical engineering, information sciences and systems, computer

engineering, civil engineering, and economics and finance (Science Pioneers, n.d.); the

Accountancy, Business, and Management (ABM) Strand which is for students who want to

develop their understanding of accounting and management in a business context and develop

skills that enhance their employability (Brunel University, 2016); and the Humanities and

Social Sciences (HumSS) Strand which focuses on the study of subjects like economics,

political science, language, and other related fields (American Academy of Arts and Sciences,

n.d.).

The other tracks are mainly application-based tracks: TechVoc which teaches common

competencies like using hand tools, calculations, planning and drawing, performing shop

maintenance, and practicing occupational health safety to ensure that graduates will have

employable skills after senior high school (TESDA, 2013), Sports, and Arts which will have

subjects to prepare students for careers in sports, fitness, and recreation (Aquino, 2015) and
The Arts and Design strand will have subjects to prepare students for careers in design and

creative industries (Aquino, 2015) and gives students the opportunity to train with other artists

and put on shows to exhibit their works in a subject (DepEd, 2013). Students choose their strand

based on different factors (Academic Exchange, 2016) and the chosen track and strand will

help the student decide his/her next step: higher education, employment, entrepreneurship, or

middle level skills development. (Geronimo, 2014).

The implementation of the Senior High School program in is happening in June 2016 but

there is still much speculation on the effectiveness and preparedness of the government, the

schools, and the students families for the programs implementation (Fabella, n.d.). This now

leads to the question what factors influence secondary students choice in strand for senior

high? Additionally, how do these factors affect their choices not only in senior high, but also

in the future? This survey and study will show the different factors and reasons that secondary

students choose a particular strand to take up in the next school year and will discuss how these

factors and reasons may be altered in better ways.


Method

This study required input from randomly 78 randomly selected Grade 10 students from the

University of Santo Tomas Junior High School, and 48 randomly selected Grade 10 students

from the University of Santo Tomas Education High School. These respondents were chosen

based on their eligibility to enter Senior High School for the following school year. Being the

first batch of students to undergo the newly-established SHS program of the Department of

Education, and the first to try out its offered benefits, the researchers thought that these

respondents would be the best option to give them the answers they need for the culmination

of this research.

For this study, the researchers used a checklist type of survey form to get our respondents

answers. The questionnaire has 20 multiple choice questions that tackle different aspects of

their reasons for choosing a specific strand/track for Senior High. The respondents shaded the

answers that were most appropriate and applicable to them.

The researchers first coordinated with the offices of both high schools to get their approval

to conduct the surveys. After approval, they distributed the survey forms to the students to be

answered and collected them within a given time frame. The researchers then tallied the data

collected from the survey forms and used them to interpret the respondents answers.

The results of this study were analyzed using _______ in order to answer the question

introduced earlier on.