Reduction of the Department of Education (DepEd) target of Grade 11 enrolees on its first year of implementation of the K-to- 12 program from 2.5 million to 1.5 million is alarming, according to an educators’ group.
The Educators Forum for Development (EfD), a network of 100 educators, over the weekend asked outgoing DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro to explain the abrupt reduction of the department’s target.
Despite lowering the target, the DepEd can only report one million Grade 11 enrolees nationwide.
Grade 11 is the first year of the two-year Senior High School program of the DepEd aimed at making the whole cycle of Philippine basic education to 12 years from 10 years.
The two-year addition was in compliance with the international standard of 12 years of basic education.
In the past, Filipino engineers, for example, were having difficulty in getting jobs as engineers in the United States and Europe because their basic education was only 10 years, when the two countries required 12.
The EfD claimed thatthe reduction of the target for Grade 11 enrolees was probably a move of the DepEd to intentionally hide what the group said was an extremely huge number of drop-outs.
I, however, did not give figures on the number of drop-outs.
The EfD told DepEd officials that various studies showed that the number of drop-outs under the 10-year cycle of basic education was also rampant because of poverty.
Incoming Education Secretary Leonor Briones recently declared that “no one should be left behind” in the implementation of the K to 12 program.
Briones, a professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance, has been an anti-poverty activist.