In order to keep up with other countries in terms of knowledge and competence in different fields, the Philippines has adopted the K to 12 learning program, which has been the standard education system in other countries for quite some time now. The said program aims to enhance the quality of learning of students by adding 2 years on secondary education level. The additional 2 years is called Senior High School
(SHS), in which students will be allowed to choose a particular track that is related to the field or profession that they wish to pursue in the future. Choosing a track is critical for making a student highly proficient in the field where his or her chosen track is related to, especially if the student wishes to work immediately after graduating from SHS. As most educators say, a mismatch in the track and the student's interests, personality and passion may lead to a poorly knowledgeable graduate who will find it hard to compete in the job market or keep up with other students when he or she goes to college. Below are some tips on choosing the right track and strand for SHS:
1. What do you do during your free time?
What you do during your free time may be your actual interest and could be something that you will really enjoy doing for the rest of your life. If it's basketball, Sports Track might be the way to go. If it is drawing, singing, dancing or creating different crafts, Arts and Design could be a good option. If you love gadgets and experimenting with apps and different gizmos, STEM or TVL track could be a good choice. No matter what your interest or hobby maybe, there is an SHS track that is suited for it.
2. What subject are you good at?
Another important thing to consider when choosing a track is identifying what subjects or topics are you good at. Knowing what areas you are competent in could be your guide in making the right choice. If you're good in communications, you might consider taking up HUMMS. If you're good with numbers, ABM or STEM would be the right tracks to take, and further enhance your numerical skills.
3. Remember your dream career!
Since we were kids, people would ask us what our ambition is. Though some people end up being in a different career or field once they graduate, it does not mean that you can just choose any track and pursue any profession someday, even if it has nothing to do with your educational background. It is still best to fully prepare yourself for your dream career or profession, which you can do by choosing the right track. Being sure of what you want to be will help you decide which track is best for you.
4. How much?
This perhaps is the most important factor for most families. Each track has certain requirements or activities that demands financial resources. Some expenses might be too prohibitive for some students and their families, that they would choose to just pass up on certain activities or projects in consideration to their household budget. When choosing a track, it is also important to carefully asses the other expenses that you have to prepare for aside from the regular fees. It does not hurt to ask the school of additional expenses and possible events or activities that you will have to pay for. Knowing whether the estimated expenses can be covered by your budget will help a lot in deciding whether or not to pursue a track at a certain school or go for other possible options.
5. Get good advice.
There are some issues or situations that you cannot figure out on your own. Whether you're a student or a parent of an incoming SHS, finding the perfect fit or the right track could sometimes be a bit difficult. In case you find yourself confused on things regarding the whole SHS thing, the best thing to do is ask for advice or suggestions. Don't be afraid to ask questions from other people, as it is always better to know what to do, than do something without knowing anything about it.
BONUS TIP: Consider convenience!
One wonderful fact about SHS is that there are some schools that offer blended learning system, wherein students only need to go to school 3 times a week and the remaining 2 school days, they could study at home or even while travelling through online education. In the Philippines, AMA Senior High School is the first to offer such learning system for SHS.