Up until recently, students in the Philippines were given only 10 years of basic education. High school graduates entering college were as young as 15 or 16 years old. That meant being thrown into the workforce barely out of their teens, and lacking the maturity to face the realities and responsibilities of adulthood.
In 2016, the Department of Education fully implemented the K-12 program, thereby adding two years of high school, or Senior High School, to the curriculum.* The extension provides students such as yourself with numerous advantages.
Girls, you especially can look forward to this time, as studies have shown that girls tend to encounter more stressors in your teenage years in comparison to boys.**
There’s more time to grow up.
Being a teenager isn’t easy, let alone being a girl in senior high school. Your body is changing, your interests are changing, and the dynamic between you and your friends-since-childhood may also be changing. You may not know how to verbalise your thoughts or emotions. You may feel that absolutely no one in the world understands you.
Now add the pressure of making a huge life decision, such as picking a college course that could determine what you would do for the rest of your life.
It seems like a little much for you to deal with, doesn’t it?
Fortunately, going into Senior High School means you have more time to adapt to the changes happening within and around you. You can use this period to find mentors to help you understand the experiences and emotions you are going through. Mentors can also coach you on building courage and resilience, in preparation for the next big chapter in your life: college, or the start of your career.
You can focus on what interests you, or discover something new.
You do not have to be limited by courses that are stereotyped as “feminine” (e.g., teaching, nursing, interior design). You can be anything you want to be!
Senior High School offers strands that are career-specific, so you have the opportunity to focus on a path towards your dream job. You can learn from experts and work on projects that are related to your interests, whether it be in Arts, Sports, Technology, or more.
If you are unsure of what path you want to take, Senior High School also offers academic strands that guide you towards careers in everything from Engineering to Humanities, as well as vocational prospects.
You can take on the world.
Did you know that Senior High School could be your stepping stone to a university elsewhere in the world? There are schools that have partnered with international colleges and universities, so that you can continue your education in another country.
Edukasyon.ph can help you find all potential universities abroad, and even help you apply for scholarships.
Equality is on the rise.
Until recently, men have dominated top jobs around the world. And women—as you may have noticed on television or in movies—have been the men’s secretaries or assistants.
You may have also noticed that this sort of arrangement is no longer seen as acceptable. From large international corporations to startups, the prominence of women taking on leadership roles is starting to pick up. (Take a look at Croatia President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as amazing examples.) The fight for equal pay is also gaining actionability. Imagine how much better things will be by the time you graduate!
Want to read more inspiring stories on women empowerment or learn about opportunities for young females in senior high school and college?
*According to the Department of Education’s website, the Philippines was the last country in Asia and third last in the world to adopt a 12-year basic education system.
**Kathleen Doheny (7 February 2007). WebMD. Teen Girls Have Tougher Time Than Boys: Girls Encounter More Stressors and Respond More Strongly to Them, Becoming More Depressed