On K to 12
program, not just the curriculum – ACT
July 27, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
Teachers group Alliance of Concerned Teachers Philippines called on
the Department of Education and the Congress to do ‘an honest
evaluation of the whole K-12 program and see that it is better
abandoned altogether than be maintained or reformed.’ ACT issued the
statement after DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones announced that the K
to 12 curriculum will undergo review to ‘keep up with the changing
times’ last July 26.
“K to 12 has worsened the
problems of our education system in all aspects. Its impetuous
implementation has aggravated the shortages in facilities, personnel
and materials. It intensified the privatization in the basic
education through the voucher system. It reinforced the colonial and
market-oriented curriculum of the basic and tertiary education. We
can see no reason why it should still be continued,” said Raymond
Basilio, Secretary General of ACT Philippines.
Republic Act 10533 which
was passed in 2013 made mandatory the one year in kindergarten and
two years in senior highschool purportedly to address the poor
quality of basic education and high unemployment rate.
Five years after the law
was enacted, Basilio said that the program has become a burden to
teachers, students and parents and is plagued with a lot of
problems, citing that “textbooks for elementary and junior
highschool are not yet completed, instructional materials for senior
highschool teachers are not yet available, public senior highschools
are very scant, billions of pesos are paid by the government to
private schools, and the drop-out rate is alarming.”
“And for what?” asked
Basilio, noting there is no remarkable improvements in the
achievement test results of K to 12 students nor in the country’s
unemployment rate. He cited that the Philippine Chamber of Commerce
and Industry (PCCI) said in a statement early this year that the 1st
batch of K to 12 graduates were not ready for skilled jobs and are
therefore not employable.
Basilio agreed that the
current K to 12 curriculum is problematic.
“Not only does it serve
capitalist interest, it also promotes an even more colonial
education. For one, Philippine History is no longer taught in
highschool. It also effected the reduction of required Filipino and
social science subjects in the tertiary level,” he noted.
He, however, criticized
Briones’ K to 12 curriculum review direction of ‘teaching how to
make robots’ and ‘teaching life skills,’ saying that it does not get
out of the colonial framework of producing cheap labor to meet
global market demands and reinforces individualistic desire for
wealth and success.
“Education must be geared
towards national development. Its duty is to optimize the potentials
of our youth and instill among them a deep desire to serve the
country. They should be equipped with critical thinking, necessary
skills and sense of nationalism to enable them to analyze and help
solve the underdevelopment of our country.
“It is not enough that
they are taught how to ‘adapt to the fast changing world.’ They
should be made to realize that they can be catalysts of change and
that they must use their skills and talents in effecting the kind of
change that the Filipino people aspire – to be freed from poverty,
underdevelopment, corruption in government and dependence to foreign
powers,” Basilio concluded.