SADDENED by the government’s take-over of Kindergarten education under its flagship Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-to-12) curriculum, an association of private schools expressed fear that many private schools that offer pre-school education may close down once public schools have already started teaching the new curriculum.
Eleazardo Kasilag, president of the Federation of Associations of Private Schools and Administrators (Fapsa), also said that thousands of teachers from the private pre-schools would lose their jobs once the new K-to-12 curriculum has rolled out by 2016.
“Now, the public schools have become our main competitors, we are losing our teachers to public school and now also the kinder pupils. Soon, so many of our member-schools shall close shop,” Kasilag said in an earlier interview.
“We are saddened by this development but since Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 has become a law, Fapsa is helpless,” he added.
Kasilag, however, said that public schools are not yet ready to implement the K-to-12 program, as he cited lack of classrooms, shortage of learning materials, and competent Kindergarten teachers.
“We have the buildings, all the needed classrooms, facilities, textbooks, teachers and teacher’s expertise. All Fapsa member schools have pre-school department and what we lack are enough pupils,” the Fapsa head explained.
“We [Fapsa-member schools] are the experts here. If the public school teachers shall do it the first time, we are into it [Kindergarten education] since time immemorial. If in some public schools now, classes are held under the tree, where would you place these wonderful angels [pre-school kids]? Perched on the tree? Clinging on the vines,” Kasilag asked.
Under the K-to-12 curriculum, Kindergarten education has been made mandatory in public schools, which means that pupils are required to take up at least one-year of Kindergarten before proceeding to Grade 1.
Despite some criticisms and opposition from various sectors, the K-to-12 program will soon be fully implemented as the government still believes that the new curriculum is an imperative to address the country’s problem on poor education and the rising unemployment rate.
In the K-to-12 program, which adds two years of basic education, students will be taught new subjects and given vocational and technical training, and on-the-job training. This is to enable students to land a job after graduation. NEIL A. ALCOBER