Third petition against K-to-12 to be filed before Supreme Court By: Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, Brian Maglungsod, InterAksyon.com May 28, 2015 6:31 PM InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5
Kabataan party list Rep. Terry Ridon joins members of the League of Filipino Students in protesting the implementation of the K-to-12 program. They revealed their findings that close to a million students could be displaced as a result of the program. KRISKEN JONES, INTERAKSYON.COM
MANILA, Philippines - Partylist lawmakers, teachers and an alliance of student groups are set to file a petition before the Supreme Court on May 29 to stop the implementation of the K-to-12 basic education curriculum.
The petition, to be filed by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and the Suspend K-to-12 Alliance, will be the third against the new curriculum that will add two years of schooling.
In the 55-page petition, the Suspend K-to-12 Coalition led by Professor Rene Tadle asked the High Tribunal to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) or writ of preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of the K-to-12 program.
In filing the petition, the coalition said the K-to-12 program is unconstitutional since there were major parts of it not in keeping with the 1987 Constitution, such as the addition of a senior high school or Grades 11 and 12 and the compulsory kindergarten or pre-school system.
The petition pointed out that 56,771 of 111,351 college teachers and 22,838 non-teaching staff nationwide are in danger of losing their employment once the law is fully implemented in school year 2016-2017.
Among the petitioners will be David San Juan, National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, seven partylist lawmakers, Benjamin Valbuena (ACT), academics and head of different organizations.
Before the filing, teachers and students will hold a protest action at the Department of Education's (DepEd) K-to-12 Summit, dubbed as "Sa K to 12 Kayang-kaya, Sama-sama!" at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
Private schools to profit big-time - Ridon
In a news conference, Kabataan partylist Representative Terry Ridon said private schools will rake in huge profits with the roll out of the K-to-12 curriculum, because of the two additional years of schooling.
Ridon said that the private institutions would be the ones that will absorb some 800,000 students who could not be accommodated in public schools starting next year.
"The Department of Education expects that the remaining 800,000 or so students will be absorbed by what they call as non-DepEd schools, the bulk of these are private education institutions that charge high tuition rates," he said.
DepEd has developed a Senior High School (SHS) Voucher Program, which provides qualified public and private Junior High School (JHS) completers with government subsidies that will enable them to enroll and study in private schools or non-DepEd schools licensed to offer the SHS Program.
However, the P8,000 to P22,000 voucher per student will not be adequate to accommodate students in private schools, according to leaders of the Student Christian Movement (SCM), National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), Anakbayan and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP).
"You can't enroll in private schools with just P22,000. This means that the balance will be shouldered by the students," Vencer Crisostomo of Anakbayan said.
Those who do not have the means to pay for their education in private schools will not have any option but to drop out, Crisostomo added.
In an earlier statement, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that at least 1.6 million students are expected to take up senior high school, but the DepEd can only accommodate 800,000 in public schools.
Of the cities in NCR, Makati, Caloocan and Parañaque have no public schools that are deemed ready to offer the program.
"Under such circumstances, DepEd is in fact setting up a situation where more students will be forced to enroll in expensive private schools just to graduate from the basic education program," Ridon said.
"It's a devilish plan that ensures that private schools will have a greater number of enrollees, and consequently, higher profit all to the disadvantage of thousand of students," he added.
Multi-sectoral group bares discrepancies in K to 12 law Tetch Torres-Tupas @T2TupasINQ INQUIRER.net 6:49 PM | Thursday, May 28th, 2015
REPUBLIC Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act that gave rise to the K-12 program and signed by President Benigno Aquino III is a different version of the enrolled bill that was signed by leaders of both Houses of Congress, a multi-sectoral group told the Supreme Court Thursday in a bid to stop the implementation of the program.
The petitioners composed of college teachers and staff said the discrepancies between RA 10533 and the enrolled bill, which has been scrutinized by both Houses of Congress is proof that the law was “unduly enacted” and should not be considered a law.
“The discrepancies are a telling indication that RA 10533 was not duly enacted. It is unquestionably different from what Congress intended it to be because of unilateral intercalations and deletions subsequent to congressional passage,” petitioners said.
“These are unconstitutional acts which militate against the spirt and intent of Section 26 Article VI of the Constitution which mandates exhaustive congressional deliberative scrutiny in passing a statute,” the petition further stated.
An enrolled bill is the final copy of the proposed legislation which was approved by both Houses of Congress. It will be certified by the Secretary of the Senate and the Secretary General of the House of Representatives, then it will be signed by both the Senate President and the Speaker. Then, it will be transmitted to the President for approval.
Here are some of the portions from the enrolled bill that did not make it to RA 10533:
-The basic curriculum shall be adapted locally to the language, cultures and values of Filipino learners in order to aid teachers in planning lessons which build what the learners already knew.
-The curriculum shall be value-driven, culture-responsive and culture sensitive.
-The curriculum shall be information, communications and technology (ICT)- based. It shall equip graduates with the necessary 21st century skills which include information, media and technology skills; learning and innovation skills; effective communications skills; and life and career skills. Mathematics and Science subjects shall be introduced as early as Grade 1. Science may be integrated with other subjects such as Mother Tongue, Mathematics, Health and Araling Panlipunan.
-The curriculum shall have a balanced assessment program that uses classroom-based traditional and authentic assessment tools which include implementation of self assessment (assessment as learning); formative assessment (assessment for learning); and summative assessment (assessment of learning). National assessment tools shall be developed and administered at the end of grades 3, 6, 10 and 12 to determine the level of learning achievement for every learner.
-Apart from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST), members of the Curriculum Consultative Committee shall include Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), association of private and public schools, teachers organization, parent-teachers association, elders of the indigenous peoples communities and the chambers of commerce.
The composition of the members under the law was changed to members of the Curriculum Consultative Committee shall be representatives from the business chambers such as the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry association.
Other provisions from the enrolled bill that failed to make it to the law are:
-The members of the curriculum consultative committee shall be knowledgeable and committed community leaders and education experts who shall provide strategic policy advice on kindergarten, elementary and secondary school curriculum. At the request of the Secretary of Education, the committee may be supported by a working group of experts on selected topics. The chairperson and members of the consultative committee shall not be entitled to additional compensation in the performance of their functions.
-There shall be available instructional materials and capable teachers to implement the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE).
-The curriculum shall include co-curricular and community involvement programs.
Petitioners pointed out that by deleting or inserting provisions in a bill after a third reading or after the Bicameral Conference Committee, the lawmakers “trampled upon the concept of representative or republican democracy which is entrenched in the Constitution.”
“By disregarding the consolidated bill, they disenfranchised the Filipino people’s presumed will expressed through their representative,” the petition stated.
“Such unconstitutional act of supplanting the presumed will of the sovereign Filipino people articulated through the elected representatives in Congress with the judgment of the Speaker and the Senate must therefore be struck down by this Honorable Court as the final protector of democracy and guardian of constitutional supremacy which proscribes the introduction of amendments after the last reading of a bill.”
Apart from R.A. 10533, they also asked the high court to nullify R.A. 10157 which institutionalized the kindergarten education into basic education system.
“The K-12 Program, in making kindergarten and high school education compulsory, expands the constitutional definition of basic education, which is consistent with international law standards,” petitioners argued in a 55-page petition.
They explained that only primary education is compulsory under Section 2, Article 14 of Constitution.
“Under the doctrine of Constitutional Supremacy, Congress may not pass an act repugnant to the Constitution. R.A. 10533 and R.A. 10157 are violations of the doctrine,” they further alleged.
Petitioners also assailed DepEd Order No. 31 – 2012, which provided policy guidelines on the implementation of Grades 1 to 10 of the K-12 basic education curriculum. They said DepEd usurped the power of Congress by creating a law without delegation of power.
They said the same order “violates the constitutional right of parents to participate in planning programs that affect them and the right to information.”
It was the third petition filed with the SC against the K-12.
Last March, the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines filed a similar petition questioning the legality of the K-12 program under Republic Act 10533 and its implementing rules and regulations.
Earlier this month, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV filed a similar petition.
The high court, however, did not immediately act on their TRO plea and instead first sought comments from the DepEd.
A related petition related to the K-12 program was filed last month by groups of professors from universities, student leaders and lawmakers led by ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio, Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon.
In that case, the high tribunal issued a TRO last April 22 enjoining the implementation of Commission on Higher Education’s Memorandum No. 20 – 2013 insofar as it abolishes Filipino and Panitikan as mandatory subjects in colleges and universities in line with the implementation of government’s K-12 education program.
Issues on K-to-12 program being addressed — Noy
Written by Joshua L. Labonera Tuesday, 26 May 2015 00:00
President Aquino yesterday expressed that the government is addressing issued on the controversial K-to-12 program, following his checking of preparations for the opening of classes in public schools next week at the Marikina Elementary School.
Aquino, in his speech, said that the government has
addressed through the Department of Education (DepEd), headed by Brother
Armin Luistro, lacks in classrooms through the aid of the private sector.
“We are addressing the added needs for the K-to-12 program, which is reforming our educational system to assure that after graduation from high school of our youth, they have enough knowledge to become productive parts of society,” he said.
The President used as leverage the complains of some private schools that the higher pay for public school teachers are not helping in their recruitment. He said this is part of helping teachers through the government.
“One we see as a problem in the K-to-12 is the complains of private schools that the salary scale of public schools are so far, that they are having problems recruiting teachers. I said I guess the government is already able to pay the burden of the initial generation of teachers,” he said.
The Palace earlier noted that the purpose of the K-to-12 program is to make students globally competitive. However, several activist groups had already pointed out that the country is not ready for the implementation of K-to-12, hitting the administration for its urgency in allegedly “selling out” its labor force.
It has ignored warnings from militant groups yesterday that about a million students across the country are bound to drop out this coming school year, in light of the execution of the new basic education program.
Initially raised for questioning were the ground to which K-to-12 will stand, as it was assailed that the government needs to prioritize other problems in the education sector first, including low salaries for teachers and the lack of classrooms.
On the side, Aquino, together with Luistro, thoroughly inspected classrooms and learning materials for Grade 1 and 2 pupils of the Marikina City Elementary School this morning, after the DepEd’s week-long “Brigada Eskwela” program.
The DepEd launches Brigada Eskwela every year two weeks before class opening to bring together in line with Republic Act 8525, or the Adopt-A-School Program Act, which was implemented in 1998.
Smooth opening of classes this school year is expected on Monday next week.
PRESIDENTIAL GAZETTE ---FLASHBACK FEBRUARY 27, 2012
Speech of President Aquino at the formal presentation of the Kindergarten Law, February 27, 2012 Posted on February 27, 2012
Talumpati ng Kagalang-galang Benigno S. Aquino III Pangulo ng Pilipinas Sa pormal na pagkakaloob ng Kindergarten Law
[Inihayag sa Bulwagang Rizal, Palasyo ng Malakanyang noong ika-27 ng Pebrero 2012]
Baka ho puwedeng balikan ko ‘yung sarili kong kasaysayan noong ako’y kindergarten. Nag-aral po ako sa—noong panahon na iyon, ang tawag ay Institucion Teresiana; eh ngayo’y Poveda na. Kinder ho. siguro para makatipid ng transportation namin, nandoon ho lahat ng mga kapatid ko. Tapos, sabi ng aking ina… sabi ko, “Anong gagawin ko dito?” “Aba, mag-aaral ka rito.” “Aba, okey,” kako. Sabi niya, “Kamusta naman ang unang araw mo?” Sabi ko, “Ang dami nilang version ng English doon.” Sabi niya, “Naitindihan mo ba?” “Yung iba, oo,” kako. “Pero iyong iba malalim na yata ang English.” Hindi ko alam kung ano ang sinasabi nila. Hindi pala English iyon—Spanish pala iyon. [Laughter] So, pagkatapos po n’on, jump after kinder—eh kinder lang naman po sa Teresiana—dinala po ako—Brother [Luistro] with due apologies—pinadinala po ako sa Ateneo. [Laughter] Nakita po iyong Eagle sa Loyola Center. So dahil tumigil na po akong pumupunta sa Teresiana, sabi ko, “Tapos na ba akong mag-aral, mom?” Sabi niya “Oo.” E di, noong dinala ako sa Ateneo, sabi ko, “Anong gagawin ko dito?” Sagot niya, “Ah, marami kang makikilalang friends dito. Maglalaro ka.” Aba, okey ah. So dinala ako doon sa testing center.
Binilindfold [blindfold] ako. Binigyan ako ng three-piece puzzle to determine my IQ. Tapos, sabi ngayon sa akin parang “fit” the puzzle; sabi, “Make a horse.” Eh nangangabayo po ako sa Tarlac ‘pag nauwi kami ‘pag summer at kung tinanong ko po ang mga magulang ko kung saan nanggagaling mga kabayo, sagot sa akin kay God. So noong sinabi sa akin “Make a horse,” sabi ko, “Niloloko ako nito ah.” [Laughter] So eventually, na-frustrate iyong guidance counselor; tinanggal ang blindfold—“Make a horse.” Medyo galit na. E di, sinagot ko na noon—makulit na ho eh—“Only God can make a horse.” [Laughter] O ‘di bagsak doon sa entrance exam. [Laughter]
But I think, by grade one, I was already in the top ten so the guidance counselor must have rethought their testing methods. [Laughter]
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa; Secretary Armin Luistro; Congresswoman Thelma Almario; Congressman Sonny Escudero; Secretary Patty Licuanan; Secretary Joel Villanueva; honorable members of the House of Representatives led by Congressman Edcel Lagman; Congresswoman Sally Ocampo; Congresswoman Lani Mercado; Congresswoman Rachel del Mar; Congressman Mel Sarmiento; Congresswoman Lita Villarosa; Congressman Mariano Piamonte Jr.; Congressman Palatino, Raymond; Congresswoman BH Dy; officers and members of the Early Childhood Care Development Council; kindergarten pupils; fellow workers in government; honored guests; ladies and gentlemen:
Humahaba ho nang humahaba ‘yung ating list. Pagpasensyahan na po n’yo—para mapabilis ho lahat ng batas natin, kailangan i-acknowledge natin lahat ng nagpakahirap para maging batas ito. [Laughter]
Nakakagaan po talaga ng pakiramdam sa tuwing may makakapiling tayong mga kabataan dito po sa Malacañang. Alam naman po n’yo, ito ang sentro ng lahat ng problema at ang paghahanap sa solusyon sa imposibleng problema. Kaya ‘pag nakakakita ng batang parating totoo ang sinasabi, napakasarap pong makapiling sila. Makita lang po natin ang kanilang mga ngiti, talagang napapawi na ang pagod natin sa trabaho. Sa kabilang banda, sila rin ang nagpapaalala sa atin sa sinumpaan nating tungkulin: Ang mabigyan ang kabataang Pilipino ng pagkakataon para sa mas magandang kinabukasan.
Sa pagsasabatas natin sa Republic Act 10157 o ang Kindergarten Education Law, humahakbang tayo pasulong sa pagpapatibay sa sistemang pang-edukasyon ng bansa. Bahagi po ito ng ibinabandila nating K to 12 Basic Education Program. Inilalapit din po tayo nito sa pagsusumikap na maabot ang ating Millennium Development Goal—ang makamit ang 100 percent primary education pagdating ng 2015.
Nagpapasalamat po ako sa Kongreso, sa pangununa ni Speaker Sonny Belmonte, at sa lahat ng tumulong sa atin upang maisulong ang batas na ito. Sa author po nito na si Representative Thelma Almario, kasama na ang iba pang nagsulong nito sa Kamara. Personal din po akong nagpapasalamat kay Senador Angara, na siyang sponsor naman sa Senado, kay Senator Loren Legarda na co-sponsor nito, at gayundin kay Senator Ralph Recto, na katuwang natin sa pagpapabuti sa sektor ng edukasyon. Siyempre, taos-puso din po akong nagpapasalamat sa Department of Education, sa pangunguna ni Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, na talaga namang patuloy na pinapatunayan ang kanilang dedikasyon sa pagsusulong sa edukasyon.
Ang tanong po marahil ng ilan sa inyo: Ano ba ang hatid na pagbabago sa atin nitong Kindergarten Law?
Nakakalungkot nga pong isipin na ang Pilipinas ay nananatiling isa sa may pinakamaikling sistemang pang-edukasyon sa buong mundo. Hindi po kasali sa ten-year curriculum natin ang Kindergarten—na siyang itinuturing na unang hakbang ng bata sa edukasyon, at nagsisilbing preparasyon sa mga susunod pang taon ng kanyang pag-aaral. Ayon pa nga po sa mga pag-aaral, sa panahong ito pinakamainam na matuto ang bata, dahil sa panahong ito mataas ang kanilang kapasidad na tumanggap ng kaalaman.
Ang naging resulta po nito sa mga nagdaang taon: Karamihan sa ating mga kabataang mag-aaral ay hindi nagkakaroon ng matibay na pundasyon sa basic education. Maaari nga po nating sabihin, na isa ito sa mga ugat sa kanilang napupurnadang pag-akyat sa mas mataas na antas ng edukasyon. Kung iisipin, papaano nga naman uusad sa karunungan, kung ang paglalakad pa lang ay hindi na natututuhan? Paano kaya makakatakbo? Dahil po dito, kinukulang sa kaalaman at kakayahan ang bata upang makahanap ng magandang trabaho o hanapbuhay.
Ngayon po, sa pagsasabatas natin ng Kindergarten Law, tinitiyak na nating hindi malalampasan ang napakahagalang hakbang na ito. Bahagi na po ng ating basic education curricula, o ng ating K to 12 Program, ang Kindergarten. Ibig sabihin, lahat ng mga mag-aaral sa mga pampublikong paaralan, simula sa darating na School Year 2012-2013, ay kailangan nang dumaan sa preschool bilang panimula ng kanilang pormal na pag-aaral.
Batid din po natin: Sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa ay may iba’t ibang wika o dayalekto ang mga Pilipino. Kaya naman, ipinapatupad na rin natin ang Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education method sa pagtuturo sa mga estudyante sa Kindergarten. Ibig-sabihin po, ang kinalakhang wika ng bata, ay siya na ring pangunahing gagamiting pangturo ng mga guro sa kanila. Kung iisipin, totoo naman po: Kung mas madaling maiintindihan ng bata ang mga salita, mas madali po niyang makukuha ang leksiyon.
Noon din po, ang Kindergarten ay para sa pribadong paaralan lamang. Ngayon, bukas na ang programang ito sa sinumang kabataan, simula sa edad na limang taong gulang. Ito po ay bilang suporta sa kampanya natin sa edukasyong para sa lahat—anong sektor ka man kabilang, mahirap ka man o mayaman.
Naninindigan pa rin po tayo: Edukasyon ang susi sa pangmatagalang kaunlaran ng bansa. Ang pagkakaroon nga po ng matibay na pundasyon sa edukasyon ang siyang nagbubukas sa mas maraming pagkakataon upang umunlad sa buhay. Kapag nakapag-aral ka nang mabuti, kipkip mo rin ang kakayahang makahanap ng magandang trabaho o hanapbuhay, na siya namang magiging kasangkapan mo sa pagsisikap sa maginhawang buhay.
Kaya naman, asahan po ninyo: Patuloy na maglalatag ang pamahalaan ng makabuluhang reporma upang higit na maiangat ang antas ng edukasyon sa bansa. Katuwang ang DepEd, patuloy nating isusulong ang mga hakbang sa pagsasakatuparan ng K to 12 program. Bahagi rin po ng adhikaing ito ang pagtataas natin ng labinlimang porsiyento sa ating budget sa basic education—mula sa 207 bilyong piso noong taong 2011, patungo sa P238 billion sa kasalukuyang taon.
Noong bata pa po tayo, ang madalas na tanong sa atin ng mga matatanda: Ano ang gusto mong maging paglaki mo? Tayo naman, sasagot agad ng “Doktor po, para mapagaling ang may sakit,” o kaya naman ay “Pulis o sundalo, para mahuli ang masasama.”
Ngayong hindi na po ako ganoong kabata, pero hindi pa naman ho lolo, [laughter] ang tanging pangarap ko po: Ang mapanghawakan ng mga kababayan nating Pilipino ang sarili nilang tadhana. Ang gusto po natin, kapag pinangarap ni Juanito na maging pulis, may matibay na sistemang pang-edukasyong ang pamahalaan na aalalay sa kanya upang makamit ito. Kapag pinangarap ni Juanita na maging doktora, may kaya man ang kanyang pamilya o wala, ay may sapat siyang oportunidad sa lipunan upang maisakatuparan ito.
Ito na nga po ang Pilipinas na unti-unting inaabot sa tuwid na landas. Isang bansang hitik sa pag-asa, at sagana sa pagkakataon sa kaunlaran. Magtuloy-tuloy lamang po tayo sa pagtutulungan, at hindi po malayong maabot na natin ang mas maliwanag na kinabukasang ating inaasam-asam.
Alam po n’yo, noong kasagsagan ng Martial Law, isang beses po, at aaminin ko sa inyo, noong high school—top ten ho tayo parati noong grade school pero noong high school parang naging irrelevant iyong high school. Paniniwala po natin, ‘pag may diktadurya eh parating nareresolba ito sa pagkakaroon ng madugong himagsikan. So ano ba ang silbing magaling ka sa geometry, sa physics, at kung anu-ano pa kung ang palagay mo naman ay hindi ka aabot sa panahon na matatapos ang madugong himgasikang iyon. So ang hirap po talagang mag-aral—maghanda ng kinabukasan kung palagay mo’y wala kang kinabukasan. So doon po, sinabi sa akin ng aking ama, “Kailangang mag-aral kang mabuti.” ‘Pag sa iyo na ang edukasyon—dahil ngayon baka sikat ka, bukas laos ka na; ngayon mayaman ka, bukas mahirap ka na—pero ‘pag nag-aral ka at nasa iyo na iyan, habang buhay sa ‘yo na iyan. Mangyari na mangyari. At ako nga ho’y nabigyan nila ng pagkakataon makag-aral sa maaayos na eskuwelahan. Kaya naman po, ating dapat ring ipilit na magkaroon ng ganoong opotunidad ang lahat ng mga Pilipino.
Kami po, noong kami’y high school, nagturo po kami—nag-tutor po kami—sa Marikina sa isang eskuwelahan na ang ngalan ay Marikina Elementary School, kung hindi ako nagkakamali. May programa po ang Ateneo, Tulong Dunong. At sa totoo lang po, grade 6 iyong mga estudyanteng tinuturuan namin, last grade na po nila; ang dami po sa kanila hirap magbasa. So kung nahihirapan kang magbasa, paano mo matututunan ‘yung mga leksyon; paano ka maghahanda sa kinabukasan mo? At doon ho nag-umpisa ang pagtatanong namin: Bakit ho kaya ganito? Grade 6, hirap magbasa eh dapat yata—grade 1 or grade 2 nakakaumpisa nang maayus-ayus nang magbasa.
Balik nga ho tayo dito. Bakit importante ‘tong batas ngayon? Kindergarten nagsasanay sa bata upang maghandang mag-aral. Tayo ho, kung tutuusin, sa sistema ngayon, iyong bata tinuturuan mong lumangoy itinapon mo sa swimming pool at sinabihan mong “gawan mo ng paraan” dahil “grade 1” kaagad, kawawa naman yata. Talaga ho, kung hindi maaayos ang pundasyon, mahina ho ang itatayo doon sa pundasyon na iyon. Kaya napakaganda po at napakatayog nitong batas na pinatulungan ng napakaraming tao dahil talaga naman pong ito ang magiging susi ng hindi hamak na mas magandang kinabukasan para sa ating lahat po.
Magandang hapon. Maraming salamat po.
No stopping K to 12 despite SC case, protests By Janvic Mateo and Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 30, 2015 - 12:00am
President Aquino leads the launching of the K to 12 summit in Pasay City yesterday. MANNY MARCELO
MANILA, Philippines - Amid mounting calls for the suspension of the K to 12 program, President Aquino yesterday led government officials in defending the implementation of the program adding two years in basic education.
“Despite our initiatives, there are those who say that we are not ready. This is my response: We are ready. K to 12 is the fruit of years of comprehensive consultations involving different sectors in education,” Aquino said during the launching of the program at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
Organized by the Department of Education (DepEd), the launch was attended by teachers, students and representatives from different stakeholders supportive of the K to 12 program. It was held two years after the signing of Republic Act 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, that paved way for the implementation of K to 12.
In his speech, the President also took a swipe at critics of K to 12, noting the protesters who gathered outside the PICC to call on the suspension of the implementation of K to 12.
“When the time comes, those who are against it, when they see its success, they will say that we improved K to 12 because of their criticisms,” Aquino said in Filipino.
“Sometimes, our critics seem to be the only children of God, it seems that they are the only ones who are always correct,” he added.
Aquino said instead of branding the program as a “burden,” K to 12 should be seen as an opportunity to further improve the students and help them fulfill their dreams.
He stressed that K to 12 graduates would have better chances to find employment and improve their lives with their additional knowledge and skills.
Under K to 12, the knowledge and education given in elementary and junior high school would be more sufficient and during senior high school, students could already choose specialized tracks for academics, technical and vocational education as well as sports and the arts.
Aquino explained that sticking to the 10-year basic education cycle would not be fair to the students, whose knowledge he compared to mangoes ripened forcibly rather than naturally by squeezing everything in their current basic education.
He noted the lack of two more years in senior high school had been a problem for many Filipino workers overseas, and said that the 12-year basic education would make Filipino students qualify in countries abroad with such a requirement.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) director general Joel Villanueva, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, and National Youth Commission commissioner Dingdong Dantes also attended the launch.
Luistro said he remains steadfast that the country will push through with the program starting in 2016 despite calls from different sectors to postpone its implementation.
He said criticisms and oppositions are always present when there are reforms being implemented, but there is need to leave a lasting development for the benefit of the students.
“I can already see the finish line,” Luistro said. “I can accept all the criticisms and suggestions. What I can’t accept are statements saying that Filipinos can’t do it.”
Petitions vs K-12 filed before SC
Aside from the protest held outside the PICC, petitions seeking to stop the implementation of government’s K-12 education program continued to flood the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday.
A group led by Bayan Muna party-list Reps. Neri Colminares and Carlos Zarate filed the fourth petition seeking to stop the implementation of K-12.
In a 40-page petition, the Suspend K-12 Alliance asked the high court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) enjoining the DepEd from fully implementing the program next year.
Petitioners alleged that RA 10533 violates rights of Filipinos to education, labor and economy under Articles II, XII, and XIV of the Constitution and also “goes against the Filipino People’s welfare.”
They said the Charter requires the government to establish and maintain a system of free public education in the elementary and high school levels.
They argued that section 10 of RA 10533 violates this constitutional provision by replacing free public senior high school education with heavily subsidized private education for around 500,000 prospective senior high school students who cannot be accommodated by public senior high schools based on DepEd’s own data, they argued.
Petitioners further argued that the K-12 program violates constitutional provisions that guarantee full protection of labor and promote full and equal employment opportunities for all.
They cited government’s admission that around 25,000 to 78,00 teachers and non-teaching staff will be displaced by K-12’s implementation.
“Such massive displacement could have been avoided if the government conducted massive and democratic consultations with regard to the implementation of RA 10533,” read the petition filed through lawyer Gregorio Fabros.
“Hence, if the implementation of RA 10533 pushes through, educators and non-teaching personnel will have no full protection, and instead be treated like disposable diapers,” it added.
The party-list lawmakers also argued that the program violated the Filipino people’s welfare, citing government’s apparent lack of sufficient funds to cover for the two additional years in high school.
“Instead of adding two years of senior high school, the government should prioritize resolving the deficiencies in personnel, facilities, and instructional materials that plague the current education system,” they stressed.
In the same petition, the lawmakers assailed the plan of DepEd to engage the services of private education institutions and non-DepEd schools offering senior high school through the programs under Republic Act No. 8545 and other financial arrangements.
Under such scheme, the DepEd has issued permits in 2014 for 333 tuition-charging non-DepEd schools to offer senior high school, while 1,866 such schools have been granted permits to offer senior high school for the next academic year.
Through RA 10533’s expanded E-GASTPE also known as the voucher system, DepEd will provide vouchers ranging from P8,750 to P22,500 pesos per year to 500,000 prospective graduates of DepEd junior high schools who will be forced to transfer to private senior high schools because they cannot be accommodated by public senior high schools as DepEd itself admits that the government cannot and will not build enough public senior high schools.
But petitioners said the vouchers that DepEd will provide are not enough to cover tuition and other fees in many private schools that have been authorized by DepEd to offer senior high school programs and accept students from public junior high schools.
“It is very clear that the de-facto privatization of senior high school education via RA 10533’s voucher system – euphemistically labelled ‘public-private’ partnership – is a direct violation of the constitutional provision that mandates free secondary education which of course must cover senior high school,” they argued.
But in his speech, Aquino maintained that his administration has funded the construction of more than 60,000 classrooms that will be used in the senior high school program. Luistro said that the classrooms will be ready when classes start in 2016.
With regard to displacement of college professors, the President said that there are more than 30,000 vacancies in senior high school that could accommodate those who might lose their jobs.
Aquino also noted that there are initiatives in place to help those who will be affected, including support for college educators who wish to pursue graduate studies during the transition period. – With Edu Punay
MANILA TIMES by Ben D. Kritz
K-to-12 is vital to the Philippine economy May 29, 2015 7:00 pm Ben D. Kritz
Ben D. Kritz
A couple of weeks ago, one of my colleagues phoned me from an event she was attending. My name had apparently come up in a conversation she had with an official of the Department of Education (DepEd).
“DepEd is a little disappointed you’ve been so hard on them concerning the K-to-12 program,” she informed me, going on to explain that while the official understood that I am not against the goal, my criticism of the manner in which it is being implemented was, from his point of view, a little unfair.
If I had a dime for every time someone thought I was being unfair, I’d have to hire a truck to carry them all.
At least the unnamed DepEd official (I know who it was, of course, but his identity is not vital to the point of this story) correctly understood my position: K-to-12 is an excellent initiative, one that is long overdue here, but the manner in which it is being converted from a good idea to a reality seems inept and unnecessarily stressful, and has caused a great deal of confusion among education stakeholders—students, educators and parents.
That stress and confusion has been further aggravated by the histrionics of those who are against expanding the basic education program—the so-called “progressives” whose ironically conservative perspective is that allowing the Philippine education system to remain below unquestioned global standards is preferable to moving out of an unimpressive comfort zone.
The greater implications to the quality of the Philippine workforce, the country’s economic potential, and its ability to take advantage of knowledge transfer matter not at all, so long as jobs are not lost and families do not have to devote temporal and material resources to two extra years of school for their children. Being dumb, apparently, is preferable to growing up.
Earlier this week, Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro paid a visit to The Manila Times’ offices, and shared with us a frank assessment of the K-to-12 implementation.
While I am still not entirely satisfied that the DepEd has handled what has been a five-year effort to bring the new paradigm to life in the most efficient way, Secretary Luistro did clarify many of the apparent problems, and in doing so eased most of my and my editorial teammates’ concerns about whether the K-to-12 program will be a success.
Any major change in a fundamental institution like the country’s basic education system is going to create some discomfort; that is unavoidable. Education in particular has a tremendous influence on the country’s social make-up, and any significant change to the education system risks pushing some people out of the way.
Despite the best efforts of the government and the education sector to ensure K-to-12 benefits everyone, some are going to be left behind. Secretary Luistro acknowledged that, but also pointed out that eliminating or reducing the negative effects of K-to-12 implementation requires a little effort on the part of other education stakeholders besides the DepEd.
The effort to implement K-to-12 has been ongoing for five years, Luistro pointed out, and for all practical purposes begins on Monday—any rational challenge to it should have been presented and resolved long before now.
Resistance to K-to-12 is foolish, although sober discussion of problems encountered along the path to implementation is not; Luistro stressed that he would rather be informed of the problems sooner rather than later. While there is likely some room for improving the manner in which the program is being rolled out, stopping it completely would be disastrous.
If the Philippines wishes to even approach the lofty goal of becoming a “first-world country,” as President B.S. Aquino 3rd suggested last week, it absolutely must meet conventional global standards of education.
As just one example of how the current system handicaps the Philippines’ human capital, professional certificate holders—engineers, accountants, healthcare workers and others—often encounter resistance for the sole reason that their education is two years shorter than everyone else’s.
K-to-12 may be a challenge, it may create practical difficulties for some, but it is an absolute necessity. Any effort applied by anyone that is not an effort to make it happen more effectively is an effort that is wasted, and ultimately harmful to the country and its livelihood.