In a town hall meeting held last March 18, University Chancellor Dr. Gerardo Janairo confirmed that DLSU Integrated School (DLSU IS) will only accept boys in the Senior High School (SHS) program opening this June 2016. The announcement came after an unexpected high turnout of confirmed enrollment following the recent release of accepted applicants last March. The Office of Admissions and Scholarships (OAS) verified that a rough estimate of 2,300 students have confirmed their enrollment.
“One of the matters discussed by the Board of Trustees (BOT) is how the University will be able to cater to such students given the limited space of St. La Salle Hall and [the number of] faculty members,” Dr. Janairo explains. Overseeing the number of confirmed applicants, Dr. Janairo cites that the administration considered different options to address “overcrowding,” such as relocating SHS to Br. Andrew Gonzales Hall and “further filtering out students,” among others.
Back to basics
To filter out students, the administration considered the possibility of shifting DLSU IS to an all boys school, much like La Salle Green Hills (LSGH). However, according to Dr. Janairo, the plan was already in talks before the approval of the SHS program, only to be revived and implemented after the “unforeseen turn of events.”
“The administration believes that it is not only the most practical method of cutting back [in the number of]students given the time constraint [before the opening] but also in a greater sense, keeping true to the Lasallian tradition of being an all boys school,” Dr. Janairo expresses.He also announced that DLSU IS and St. Scholastica’s College Principal Sr. Leila Dela Fuente formalized a merger in March, naming St. Scholastica as its sister-school. Female applicants will be redirected to St. Scholastica instead, but will still retain the same curriculum with DLSU IS. Furthermore, students who graduate from the SHS program in St. Scholastica will still be granted automatic admission to the University.
Subsequent to the release of accepted applicants, the OAS conducted a survey among 2,974 accepted applicants on whether they agree with DLSU IS’ plan to shift to an all-boys school and direct its female applicants to St. Scholastica. Some 78 percent of the total respondents agreed that the University maintains the Lasallian tradition, 15 percent thought that it was disappointing and unprofessional for the University to make sudden changes and will opt to enroll elsewhere, while 7 percent only took the exam to have more options.
On student admissions
Mixed reactions were voiced out by students who recently got their results for the qualifying exam regarding the latest admission announcements.
“I’m glad that La Salle will still be exclusive for boys, [as I am used to it], because of the fact that tradition and culture are wanted to be preserved. To me, it’s a great move by DLSU.” This was a response from Seb Pilapil, an incoming SHS student who graduated from LSGH.
This decision by the University was warmly accepted by the SHS exam qualifiers in general, most especially by the males. Out of the 78 percent of the people who still plan to enroll at DLS SHS, the number of applicants coming from exclusive schools for boys and exclusive schools for girls addup to 56 percent.
However, there were also some who are not pleased with the University’s decision trying to facilitate the admissions process.
“After hearing about this announcement, I was really dismayed that I won’t be able to take up classes with some of my friends, so I’d rather enroll in another school where I can freely choose,” commented Sara Torres, also an applicant for DLS IS.
St. Scholastica and La Salle
As part of the DLSU IS system’s curriculum and long-term plans of action, the administration is also planning to propose the transition of St. Scholastica from an independent educational institution to a permanent sister-school of DLSU.
“This will not only ensure the better of quality of education as observed through standards set by these two reputable schools, but it will also help in uniting communities and people,” shares Atty. Mia Tumalim, assistant legal officer at St. Scholastica’s Office of Legal Affairs.
According to the administration, DLSU is doing its best in trying to preserve the quality of education it offers to learners and maintain its reputation of being a school for boys.
“In my perspective, I think it’s not being sexist and all, but rather I think it is about maintaining our exclusivity and is a way of preserving the tradition, culture, and teachings of the Lasallian education,” GENDERS Professor Topher Ho expresses in an interview with The LaSallian.
Following the Board’s decision, it was also decided that the professors who will have lesser teaching load will be given opportunities to teach at St. Scholastica. This proposition wishes to address the problem of not having enough teaching units for a teacher.
Although this will start with the SHS, the long-term plans of the University is to permanently transfer all female students in college to St. Scholastica’s in order to fully achieve the goal of making DLSU an all boys school, and the St. Scholastica – La Salle will be exclusive as well to girls.
“I can see this as an opportunity, really, to establish standards for the Lasallian education system, and so the admin is hoping for the positive response of the public regarding this decision,” Dr. Janairo describes.
From SHS to University
Aside from separating boys and girls into two different institutions and campuses, the courses to be offered in DLSU will now also be limited to a number of degree programs, and the same will apply to St. Scholastica’s.
“I plan to take up engineering but after hearing of this announcement, [that engineering will only be offered at the boys’ campus], I was forced to consider taking up AB Fashion Design instead, as it is, I think, the only course wherein I will be able to work with machines still,” explains another applicant, who wished to be anonymous.
DLSU has not released the official list of the degree programs to be offered exclusively for each campus, although this agendum was already approved during the last meeting of the administration together with the BOT.
First term of the SHS will begin on June 1st this year, simultaneously with the University students’ third term, which will start late May.