MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Education (DepEd) is considering providing some form of support for some of the 12,000 college instructors and professors who are in danger of losing their jobs during the so-called transition period, once the K to 12 basic program is fully implemented next year.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the DepEd would propose that the affected teaching personnel undertake research studies or obtain doctorate degrees during the two-year gap (2016 and 2017) during which there will be an expected lack of first-year and second-year college enrollees as these students will be entering Grades 11 and 12 under the K to 12 curriculum.
According to Luistro, the DepEd will look at providing subsidies, to be proposed under the agency’s 2016 budget, that would pay for a portion of the costs incurred by college professors who may choose to undertake additional studies during the gap years.
This would form part of the government’s planned massive investment to upgrade faculty skills, he said.
“The faculty will have to apply, this will not be automatic for them. It also doesn’t necessarily follow that what [courses or degrees] they want will be allowed. We also need to make sure the program is from a reputable [institution]… We need excellent programs so that when they go back to their schools to teach, they have already upgraded themselves,” said Luistro, who was interviewed following a signing ceremony between the DepEd and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday.
Luistro, meanwhile, expressed confidence the high court will not heed calls to suspend the implementation of the K to 12 program considering the huge investments that both the government and the private sector had already poured in for both the hard and soft infrastructure needed for the new curriculum.
“That won’t happen. What kind of program will be suspended on the last year? We are on the fifth year, and even the private schools have already invested. They’ve put up the buildings and made adjustments. These are huge investments. The government, for instance, is building 30,000 classrooms. So our position is that, if you’re going to suspend this program, why just now? All discussions have been there since 2010,” he said.
Groups of teachers and students, which included the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities in the Philippines, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisang at Progresibong mga Manggagawa, Federation of Free Workers, National Confederation of Labor and among others are continuing to conduct protests against the K to 12 program.–Amy R. Remo
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