Stu­dents in­sist: Abol­ish K to 12

Business Mirror - - NEWS - Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz

AGROUP of stu­dents on Fri­day urged the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (DepEd) anew to stop the full im­ple­men­ta­tion of K to 12 Pro­gram.

League of Filipino Stu­dent Na­tional Chair­man Charisse Bañez, who is a Stop K12 Al­liance con­vener, said the start of K to 12 se­nior high- school en­roll­ment was marked with a chaos, say­ing 700,000 to a mil­lion stu­dents might drop out of high- school ed­u­ca­tion.

“If the DepEd can­not stop K to 12 af­ter re­peat­edly be­ing told to do so, then this agency should just shut down. We don’t need an ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment that guar­an­tees the profit of pri­vate schools and cap­i­tal­ist ed­u­ca­tors [through K to 12] at the ex­pense of our right to free pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion,” Bañez said.

“The school year for high school has ended last month, but ju­nior high- school com­pleters could not af­ford to en­joy their sum­mer va­ca­tion, be­cause they are still un­cer­tain on how they can con­tinue their high- school ed­u­ca­tion. Right now, about a mil­lion stu­dents still do not know where to go,” she added.

She said the K to 12 Pro­gram is not de­signed for the im­prove­ment of ac­cess to qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion.

“There is a scarcity of free pub­lic schools of­fer­ing se­nior high ed­u­ca­tion, be­cause K to 12 is de­signed to be dom­i­nated by pri­vate schools. In the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion alone, more than 78 per­cent of se­nior high schools are pri­vately owned. Ma­tric­u­la­tion costs of these schools range from P25,000 to more than P100,000 per year,” Bañez said.

Ex­o­dus

MEAN­WHILE, Na­tion­al­ist Peo­ple’s Coali­tion ( NPC) Rep. Shewin Gatchalian of Valen­zuela down­played fears that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the K to 12 Pro­gram this com­ing school year will re­sult in more high- school dropouts, es­pe­cially those from pri­vate schools.

“It is in­cum­bent on the DepEd to make sure that pri­vate- school stu­dents trans­fer­ring to pub­lic se­nior high school will be ac­com­mo­dated and the open­ing of classes in June will not be chaotic, as some quar­ters fear that it will be,” Gatchalian added.

“Many pri­vate schools are now prob­lem­atic be­cause many stu­dents and even teach­ers in pri- vate schools are trans­fer­ring to pub­lic schools for the se­nior high school pro­gram. This is be­cause pub­lic- school teach­ers are given higher pay than those in pri­vate schools and re­ceive numer­ous ben­e­fits from the gov­ern­ment,” said Gatchalian, a mem­ber of House Com­mit­tee on Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion and Cul­ture.

Some 5,800 pub­lic schools and 1,866 pri­vate schools are set to of­fer the se­nior high school pro­gram this year with close to 1.3 mil­lion stu­dents ex­pected to en­roll be­fore June. Of the 1.3 mil­lion stu­dents, around 878,000 stu­dents will be en­rolling in pub­lic schools, while about 438,000 stu­dents will go to pri­vate schools.

Un­der the K to 12 Pro­gram, a stu­dent is re­quired to un­dergo kinder­garten, six years of ele­men­tary, four years of ju­nior high and two years in se­nior high school.

On the other hand, the se­nior high school pro­gram, a stu­dent can choose one among four ma­jor “tracks”— aca­demic, tech­ni­calvo­ca­tional liveli­hood, arts and de­sign and sports.

Un­der the aca­demic track, there are four “strands”—Ac­coun­tancy, Busi­ness and Man­age­ment; Hu­man­i­ties and So­cial Sciences; Science, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics; and the Gen­eral Aca­demic strand. Those who have com­pleted the Se­nior High School pro­gram af­ter two years can go to col­lege if they wish to con­tinue their stud­ies.

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