The recent opening of classes signaled more agony and added financial burden to millions of parents and students with the full implementation of the K-to-12 (Kindergarten-12th Grade) program.
After the Aquino administration’s failure to alleviate the plight of the labor sector, particularly wage earners, it shoved this oppressive and discriminatory scheme down their throat.
Education officials tout the K-to-12 program as one of the pillars of the administration’s reforms, which “ensures that the youth have the knowledge and skills upon finishing high school and become productive members of society.”
Noynoy and his cheerleaders at the Palace should listen closely to themselves.
What they’re telling millions of young Filipinos is spend more time in high school to get trained on menial jobs, and forget about college and becoming professionals.
Just like the previous administrations, these culprits have already made college education less accessible to poor students with the yearly tuition hikes.
Now, they’ve made it almost impossible for the poorest of the poor to finish even high school.
Experts in the field of education, not the ones at DepEd, can attest to the quality of teaching and learning environment rather than the number of years of basic education that produce better quality students.
Correct me if I’m wrong but Finland’s educational system is arguably the best in the world. It maintains a 10-year basic education system although it offers an “optional” two-year occupational training in high school.
The same is true in the top-ranking South Korea and Japan’s primary and secondary school programs, where a two-year vocational training is “voluntary.”
The Noynoy administration should set aside arrogance and consider making the additional two years of this K-to-12 optional or voluntary.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro’s K-to-12 is copied from the United States basic education system which has been ranked “average,” 25th at best, for many years.
And we don’t even have the luxury of facilities, as well as specially-trained teachers and school counselors for the K-to-12 modules that the US schools have.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), as well as parents of students in public elementary and high schools, must know the realities that prevail outside Malacañang.
They are calling for the suspension of the unrealistic K-to-12 program which adds two years to the 10-year basic education “to upgrade it to world standards.”
ACT leaders noted the dire classroom shortage and lack of facilities like science rooms and libraries.
Just recently, it was discovered that the DepEd had wasted millions of pesos on printing “obsolete books” for high school which were not applicable to the K-to-12 program.
Now, quality education cannot be achieved just by increasing the number of years in school. The lack of learning materials, classrooms and school facilities should first be addressed.
In many public elementary and high schools, each poorly-ventilated and poorly-lighted classroom now accommodate up to 50 students, which is not conducive to learning.
Also, many school buildings in public and private schools are likely to collapse in case of a high-magnitude earthquake.
DepEd officials this week blamed the lack of classrooms in Metro Manila to “the lack of buildable space.”
And more students crowd these unsafe structures with the K-to-12 program.
No wonder classes were still held in school corridors, outdoors, stairways and in basketball courts, as shown on television last week.
This mindless Noynoy administration and Congress, which rubber-stamped this anti-poor scheme, have only themselves to blame if more and more youths end up in the streets.