‘Scrap K-12’

A children’s rights group and a youth solon said that the K-12 program is giving everyone more headaches than solutions.

By DEE AYROSO
Bulatlat.com

Groups opposed to the K-12 program of the Department of Education reiterated their call to stop its implementation.

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon urged other lawmakers to rethink their position and move to scrap the law. “Even as the K-12 program enters its last phase, DepEd has not yet resolved the shortages in the basic education sector,” Ridon said in a March 11 statement.

“It appears that the program itself will also result in mass layoff of teachers in higher education institutions, and tuition increases in other schools,” he added.

Calling the K-12 a “suicide mission,” Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concern Spokesperson Kharlo Manano said the program worsens the plight of impoverished families.

“We fear that more youths will not be able to finish their studies because of the K-12 program,” Manano said.

The K-12, or the Enhanced Basic Education Program was signed into law in 2013, as Republic Act 10533.

Ridon said the enactment into law of K-12 was “rushed” in the 15th Congress, without an assessment of the government’s readiness to implement it. He also said the K-12 curriculum was not carefully reviewed.

He cited that for the schoolyear 2013 to 2014, there was a shortage of 202,356 classrooms. There was also a shortage of 114,304 teachers, based on the ideal teacher-to-student ratio of 1:30.

“Back in 2012, the government promised to resolve high unemployment and drop-out rates through K-12. Yet we can see that several years into its implementation, neither drop-out rates nor unemployment has eased,” he said.

“Curricular reforms are not enough to resolve fundamental problems of the education sector. Adding two more years to basic education just translates to added burdens, both on part of the government and the families of students,” Ridon said. ()

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