IT’s all systems go for the nationwide implementation of the Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-to-12) program by next year despite opposition from various groups, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said on Wednesday.
Luistro added that there is no compelling reason to suspend the implementation of the enhanced basic education curriculum because the K-to-12 Law or Republic Act 10533 is “constitutional” and was approved unanimously by lawmakers.
“When the K-to-12 was passed, there was no railroading. There was a unanimous vote for the K-to-12 law,” he told editors of The Manila Times during a roundtable interview.
Though he admitted there are some problems that they need to address, Luistro said it is not enough to halt the implementation of the program.
Militant groups and Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th had cited the government’s lack of readiness to implement the program.
“I always say that all oppositions if they were valid and sincere should have been done earlier. It’s too late,” Luistro said.
He denied that at least 100,000 college faculty will be displaced during the transition to the K-to-12 curriculum.
“These groups are saying that 100,000 teachers in college will lose their jobs. Let’s be more precise with our figures because the truth is that the 100,000 is the total number of teachers,” Luistro said.
“Our latest figure showed that around 18,000 college faculty over five years will lose their job,” he added.
Private colleges and universities across the country have expressed fears that thousands of their faculty and non-teaching personnel will lose their jobs because there will be no more enrolment for college freshmen in the first year of the K-to-12 implementation.
“Even if assumed that there will no first year students in year one, and even if you assumed that all of the teachers will lose their jobs in year one, the Education department will hire more than 30,000 new teachers for our senior high schools,” Luistro explained.
He urged college faculty who might be displaced to go online to apply for vacant teaching positions
The Education chief also denied that K-to-12 program will deny at least 1 million students education as claimed by militant youth group League of Filipino Students.
Under the K-to-12 reform, a student will be required to undergo kindergarten, six years of primary education (Grades 1-6), four years of junior high school (Grades 7-10) and two years of senior high school (Grades 11-12).
The new education system aims to improve the quality of basic education and adequately prepare high school graduates for college education, work or employment, making them globally competitive.