by Kristin Santos

The implementation of the K-12 curriculum has brought about a big change in the country’s education system. Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of the Senior High School, which is two years of specialized upper secondary education and is a prerequisite to advance to tertiary education. It offers three tracks: Academic; Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts. The Academic track includes four strands: Accountancy, Business, Management (ABM); Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS); Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM); and General Academic (GA). For the Academic Year 2016-2017, Ateneo Senior high School offered the Academic Track to its students.

The first three strands (ABM, HUMSS, and STEM) offer specialization subjects that are specific to the field of study. The GA strand though, does not offer specialized subjects of its own. Instead, it gives students the opportunity to choose for themselves what fields to take specialized subjects on, whether it be science, business or politics, by allowing the students in the GA strand to pick from the specialized subjects of the ABM, HUMSS and STEM. This allows the strand to cater to students who want a diverse learning experience or those who wanted to try their hand at different or unusual career choices.

June 2016 - Shown in the picture are the students of 11 Favre welcoming the year of being a GA student ahead. Photo taken by Mrs. Moca Dator.

Personally being a part of the GA strand has helped me learn more about myself. With the options that I have about my specialized subjects, it has made me examine myself further in realizing my strengths, weaknesses, and goals in life and made me ask myself, “Is this what I really want to do in the future?”. It has been an adventure that helped me to explore my potentials, and is an adventure that I will treasure as I make my way through life.

The students of 11 Favre walks through a journey surrounded by nature. Photo taken by Anya Dael.

This is what awaits a student who chooses GA, an adventure of a lifetime. The different experiences that one gets as s/he goes through the academic rigors will one day shape who they are, and what they can become. The GA strand teaches a student how to overcome adversity, build their character and help them discover the talents that they may not know they have. Most importantly, it teaches the student to look beyond the confines of the strand that others chose.

by Miguel Patron

Since the implementation of the new system back in 2014 up ‘till the present actions being taken to cater the needs of students that are going through this change in academic background, there have been a lot of negative remarks in regards to the General Academic strand. These contrary comments are made by individuals who are students, teachers, parents and even journalists; trying to depict and showcase the G.A. strand and students as inferior and not ready for the future tasks and challenges that they make have to face in their coming years.

As the opening year of Senior High in the Ateneo de Manila University launched during 2016, there have already been issues that have stemmed within the four academic strands: HUMMS, ABM, STEM and GA. In the start of the new year at the new Senior High School building, what was labeled as “strand wars” started to arise among mostly HUMMS, STEM and GA. While we aren’t sure as to what happened among HUMMS and STEM, being members of the GA strand, we were fully aware and were affected by the event that had occurred.

At this time, screenshots of a chat were released from a section in HUMMS, wherein individuals were talking about G.A. students as a whole. Within these messages, the people who were talking mentioned how those in the General Academic students are “basic”, “general” and “good at choking”. Furthermore, the students who had continued to comment on those from G.A. laughed at remarks when other classmates of theirs mentioned how GA has talent and how there are GA students who have potential to be better.

Furthermore, teachers and writers have also talked about how G.A. is a “waste for students” and a place where “they can’t develop further”. These types of comments don’t just lead to issues between students and teachers but have also seemingly caused trouble in professional environments such as the faculty room. In addition, in a Philstar article entitled “The General Academic Strand,” by Isagani Cruz, it goes as to far as to say,

The fact that teachers and other adults are out there, putting down students who have been placed in a certain strand is seemingly unacceptable. While as children, most people have been taught to look up to those who are older than us and to try and follow in their footsteps, hearing such types of criticism or reading it off of the screens of our computers or phones would, of course, bring them down and make them wish that they had been accepted into a different strand.

GA students, Miggy Dimaiwat and Miguel Patron repectively, pose a pretend 'stand off'. Photo taken by Anya Dael.

However, while this is the sad case among many students within the G.A. strand, it is seemingly evident that the outlook on General Academic students have changed since the start of the 2016-2017 school year. While other students in the class of 11-Favre, a General Academic class, opened up and talked about how when they first entered into the Ateneo, being accepted into this strand, they were embarrassed to tell other people and furthermore, they were disappointed in themselves because they felt as if they weren’t enough for the other strands. However, while this was, emphasis on was, the case at the start, most if not all the students in this class have accepted and embraced their identity as being a G.A. student.

“I am Happy in the GA strand because it gave me more time to choose on what type of career i will pursue in the future. GA is different because it's like the number 0, hollow but has limitless potential. that's why I will continue to be a proud GA student”

“With what GA offers, not specializing in a subject would mean opening the doors to a world of dynamic options. It would be easier to choose to specialize once you’ve got the hang of things.”

“I am happy with GA because it does not restrict me to a certain field of expertise and offers more opportunities to be explored.”

“To be honest, if I had the choice to switch strands, I’d stay with GA. Aside from the academics, the people here are so motivated and so hard working, determined to show that they belong and that they aren’t as the stereotypes claim them to be.”

Pictures are showing the classes of 11 Favre and 11 Canisius, GA sections. Photos taken by Mrs. Moca Dator.

These statements are that of GA students and the reasons as to why they are proud to be in G.A. and as to why that is. Despite the certain calls made against them and notion of the General Academics not being good enough, the students here are still proud to be a member of this strand and still see the positive side as to why it is beneficial in G.A.

by Austine Dy

The GA (General Academics) strand manifests multi-talented students. Most of waking up every morning and asks themselves, "what's to do?" Having many interests and abilities can make for a rich and satisfying life. On the bright side, many would have realistic options for future careers. On the downside, some would struggle to decide which choice to make.

Based on the comments and remarks of other individuals in regards to GA students, there are claims that label those under this strand as: “basic”, “general” and “good at choking”. However, some of the students have multi potentiality. They have many exceptional talents, any one or more of which could make for a great career for that person.

by Miguel Patron

In the photo is the Loyola United Handball Team Girls and Boys with their coach Mr. Pocholo Gutierrez.

There are many sports played within the Ateneo, however one of the most unknown at the start of this year was handball. While the Loyola United handball team consists of many students within the Ateneo Senior High School, a majority of the players consist of those who are in the General Academic strand.

During the start of the team’s handball run, the original Loyola starting players are out of this strand. In addition to this, the General Academic strand also represents two of the three players within the team, Matthew Aguasin and Miguel Patron, whom have been selected to participate in the national team training pool, making up two of the current 28 players who are in this training pool.

by Miguel Patron

The Ateneo Blue Eaglets poses as a team during the UAAP Season '79.

When talking about Ateneo High School sports, one cannot forget about the extremely talented basketball team. This consists of 16 players from grades 11 and 12, including one exceptional grade 9 student. The Ateneo team which now has a 11 wins and 3 losses standing is also in the run to catch up to second place of the top four within all Jr. UAAP teams. In addition, while they have been performing at a high level this year, the seven of these players belong to the General Academic strand.

In addition, of the seven players within this strand, four of them: Jason Credo, Sj Belangel, Rv Berjay and Dave Ildefonso, represented the nation in last year’s FIBA Under 16 tournament. It goes to show that while there are plenty of students within the G.A. strand, these individuals remain to be very diverse, excelling in things such as sports, debate, writing, etc.

by Austine Dy & Diego Montes

Photo shows members of TKD team smiling due to victory, (from left to right) Diego Montes, their coach, and Harley Santos.

It's Ateneo's first time having a strong Taekwondo team, but it isn't enough to beat the top schools like NU, UE and DLSU. But the fact that Ateneo being an underdog to being a challenger is already a big deal. Bagging 1 gold and 1 bronze last UAAP Season 79, and having two representatives of the Philippine National Taekwondo Team gives Ateneo a sudden shock for a bright future in the history of Taekwondo.

Newest recruit of the Ateneo, Philippine team member, and Worlds championship player, also their team captain of the taekwondo juniors - Harley Santos of 11-Chabanel, gets an award of “Rookie of the Year.” Although it is his first time to play in the UAAP, he mentions that “Naka mindset na saakin na kukunin ko yung award na ‘yon. I am really grateful and blessed to have the award of Rookie of the Year. Lahat ng hardwork and sacrifice nag bunga.” As the team captain, he expects everyone to train harder especially that season 80 is nearing up. Also, there must be an improvement to be able to get the back to back gold medalist.

All Rights Reserved 2017.

Like it? Support us by liking!

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.