SC up­holds K-12 con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - By EVE­LYN MA­CAIRAN

The Supreme Court (SC) has af­firmed the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the K-12 ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram of the gov­ern­ment five years af­ter it was signed into law.

In a 94-page de­ci­sion pro­mul­gated on Oct. 9, now re­tired Chief Jus­tice Tere­sita Leonardo-De Cas­tro and nine SC jus­tices found Repub­lic Act 10533 or the En­hanced Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Act of 2013 con­sti­tu­tional.

As­so­ciate Jus­tices Lu­cas Ber­samin and Alexan­der Ges­mundo were on of­fi­cial busi­ness. As­so­ciate Jus­tice Jose Reyes Jr. was on leave.

The high court dis­missed the con­sol­i­dated pe­ti­tions filed by schools, teach­ers, pro­fes­sors and or­ga­ni­za­tions ques­tion­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of K-12.

The SC also lifted the tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der which halted the ex­clu­sion of Filipino and Pan­i­tikan as core sub­jects in K-12’s col­lege cur­ricu­lum.

It also up­held the Kinder­garten Ed­u­ca­tion Act and other re­lated is­suances of the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (DepEd), Com­mis­sion on Higher

Ed­u­ca­tion (CHED), De­part­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment and Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (TESDA) im­ple­ment­ing the K- 12 pro­gram.

In a rul­ing penned by As­so­ciate Jus­tice Ben­jamin Caguioa, the high court said the K-12 law was validly en­acted as it went through pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions. The K- 12 law set stan­dards to guide the DepEd, CHED and TESDA in car­ry­ing out the pro­vi­sions of the law, from the de­vel­op­ment of the K-12 ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion cur­ricu­lum to the hir­ing and train­ing of teach­ing per­son­nel to the for­mu­la­tion of ap­pro­pri­ate strate­gies to ad­dress the changes dur­ing the tran­si­tion pe­riod.

Con­gress passed the K-12 law in or­der for the coun­try to be at par with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

DepEd wel­comes SC rul­ing

Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Leonor Bri­ones yes­ter­day wel­comed the SC de­ci­sion up­hold­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the K-12 sys­tem. In a phone in­ter­view with

The STAR, Bri­ones ex­pressed hope that the rul­ing would set­tle the mat­ter once and for all.

The law in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized the K-12 sys­tem, which added two more years in ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion in the coun­try.

Bri­ones said they have been im­ple­ment­ing the K-12 pro­gram as man­dated by the law since they took over in 2016.

“We have to rec­og­nize that the preparations for K-12 have been im­ple­mented by my pre­de­ces­sor,” she said. “What we are do­ing is fine tun­ing the pro­gram.”

Bri­ones said they were con­duct­ing a re­view of the K-12 cur­ricu­lum to ad­dress chal­lenges that they en­coun­tered dur­ing its im­ple­men­ta­tion.

The SC rul­ing also af­firmed the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of a me­moran­dum or­der is­sued by CHED, which re­moved the manda­tory Filipino sub­jects in col­lege cur­ricu­lum.

CHED chair­man J. Pros­pero De Vera III has yet to com­ment on the mat­ter.

He pre­vi­ously di­rected higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions not to re­move the manda­tory Filipino sub­jects due to the tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der is­sued by the SC.

Bri­ones said they would have to sit down with CHED of­fi­cials to de­ter­mine if changes in the ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion would be nec­es­sary, given the pos­si­ble re­moval of Filipino and Pan­i­tikan sub­jects in col­lege.

She said mother tongue is part of the cur­ricu­lum for pri­mary stu­dents.

AFP

Stu­dents cel­e­brate the cor­rup­tion con­vic­tion of for­mer first lady and Ilo­cos Norte Rep. Imelda Mar­cos with a bon­fire at the Uni­ver­sity of the Philip­pines cam­pus in Dil­i­man the other night.

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