MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker insisted on Tuesday that the House of Representatives’ approval on third reading of the K-12 basic education program was a hasty move which could worsen the country’s education system.
Kabataan Partylist Raymond Palatino, one of eight lawmakers who opposed the K-12 program, said that Monday was “a sad day for the Philippine basic education system.”
What the Department of Education viewed as two additional years which would equip students with skills and prepare them to enter the workforce was seen by the partylist legislator as burdensome for the students and their families.
Until recently, the Philippines was the only country in Asia which still had a 10-year basic education program. DepEd started its implementation of the K-12 program despite the absence of an enabling law back in June.
Under K-12, students will go through six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School before they step into college.
“I fear that instead of reforming the current education system, the railroaded passage of the K-12 Bill will further escalate the education crisis in the country,” said Palatino, insisting that the additional years will only succeed in becoming an “additional burden” to many families.
“There is indeed a consensus that we need to reform the basic education curriculum. There is much room for reform. But legislating a bill that adds two years without the proper preparations is a turn for the worse,” he argued.
To Palatino “employment is not wholly a function dependent on the number of years of schooling.”
He said that DepEd was being too ambitious with the K-12 program, expressing worries that the future generation would “face an educational system prescribed by world financial institutions to reorient the education system towards serving labor-export policies.”
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