K to 12 is here to stay

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

I

T IS the goal of the K to 12 Cur­ricu­lum of the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion to de­velop and en­hance the knowl­edge, skills, at­ti­tude and val­ues of the grad­u­ates and to pre­pare them to be ready to the four ex­its of the said pro­gram namely, work, fur­ther train­ing, en­trepreneur­ship and col­lege ed­u­ca­tion.

While CHED is plan­ning to re­view and change the sys­tem for its K to 12 Tran­si­tion Pro­gram, it should not be mis­in­ter­preted as a plan to scrap it. I am pub­lish­ing here in toto the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cial state­ment on the al­leged plan to re­peal K to 12 Pro­gram. Here it is:

Sen­ti­ments and questions on so­cial me­dia per­tain­ing to the sup­posed plan to scrap the K to 12 Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram are clearly based on mis­in­for­ma­tion and lack of crit­i­cal dis­cern­ment.

The claims cir­cu­lat­ing on­line came af­ter news of the Com­mis­sion on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion’s (CHED) plan to “re­view and change” the sys­tem for its K to 12 Tran­si­tion Pro­gram was mis­con­strued to mean the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the en­tire K to 12 Pro­gram. These two are not one and the same.

The im­ple­men­ta­tion of the K to 12 Pro­gram has seen nu­mer­ous gains for the ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, which in­clude the ini­tial re­sults of the Se­nior High School (SHS) Pro­gram sur­pass­ing ex­pec­ta­tions in en­roll­ment and tran­si­tion rates and in pro­vid­ing free or highly sub­si­dized SHS ed­u­ca­tion to more than 2.7 mil­lion learn­ers in pub­lic and pri­vate schools two years af­ter the SHS Pro­gram im­ple­men­ta­tion.

It is also im­por­tant to re­mind the pub­lic that the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion’s (Deped) im­ple­men­ta­tion of the K to 12 Pro­gram is man­dated by law, un­der Repub­lic Act No. 10533, oth­er­wise known as the “En­hanced Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Act of 2013.”

There­fore, Deped, as an ex­ec­u­tive arm of the govern­ment, can­not ar­bi­trar­ily dis­con­tinue the Pro­gram. As with any law, the im­ple­men­ta­tion, amend­ment, ex­pan­sion, or re­peal of the K to 12 Pro­gram is within the am­bit of the leg­isla­tive branch of the govern­ment com­prised of the Se­nate of the Philip­pines and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Nev­er­the­less, the Depart­ment main­tains its stand that the K to 12 Pro­gram is a prompt ne­ces­sity that push­ing it back might prove detri­men­tal to the ac­cel­er­at­ing and in­creas­ing de­mands on ed­u­ca­tion. The chal­lenges still abound but the sup­port of the na­tional and lo­cal govern­ment, and of stake­hold­ers in the pri­vate sec­tor and the com­mu­nity, has been over­whelm­ing that it si­lences doubts and strength­ens the re­solve to move for­ward with change to­day.

Lastly, Deped calls on the pub­lic to make a habit of con­sult­ing the of­fi­cial web­site and so­cial me­dia ac­counts of the Depart­ment be­fore spread­ing as­ser­tions and en­gag­ing dis­cus­sions on its poli­cies, pro­grams, and projects that may in­flu­ence the opin­ion, de­ci­sion, or ac­tion of our pri­mary stake­hold­ers - our learn­ers.

This Cor­ner hopes that with this state­ment re­leased by Deped, ev­ery­body will be clar­i­fied that CHED is only re­view­ing their K to 12 Tran­si­tion Pro­gram and Deped is not scrap­ping the K to 12 Cur­ricu­lum.* I

N time for the open­ing of classes, we again ask the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion for a meet­ing to dis­cuss sev­eral con­cerns of pub­lic school teach­ers. We be­lieve that the open­ing of classes is the best time to talk about the con­cerns of teach­ers be­cause of the huge pub­lic at­ten­tion thrown into the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. Thus, the group hopes that teach­ers and Deped may fi­nally agree on mat­ters that they have ini­tially dis­cussed in the past en­gage­ments.

In our for­mal re­quest, we again pre­sented the is­sues, some of which have sup­pos­edly reached con­clu­sion last year fol­low­ing the pro­nounce­ments from the Of­fice of the Sec­re­tary, es­pe­cially those per­tain­ing to the med­i­cal ben­e­fits, work­ing hours and hir­ing of non-teach­ing per­son­nel. We re­it­er­ate that the fol­low­ing con­cerns are prac­ti­cal, doable and within the au­thor­ity of the Sec­re­tary:

1. Im­me­di­ately sus­pend the im­ple­men­ta­tion of RPMS (re­sults-based per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem) and call for the widest con­sul­ta­tion pos­si­ble;

2. Put a halt on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Deped Order No. 42 or the use of Daily Les­son Log (DLL) and De­tailed Les­son Plan (DLP) and re­vert to sim­pli­fied les­son prepa­ra­tions;

3. Stop ram­pant class ob­ser­va­tions and leave the teach­ers in their usual teach­ing tasks;

4. Pro­hibit Satur­day classes and re­quired meet­ings dur­ing week­ends;

5. Fully im­ple­ment the six-hour work­day na­tion­wide with uni­for­mity based on ex­ist­ing rules;

6. Hire non-teach­ing per­son­nel that will ac­com­plish cler­i­cal tasks; and

7. Pro­vide health ben­e­fits and priv­i­lege leave for teach­ers within the school year

As to the strate­gic agenda, or those that need ex­ec­u­tive or leg­isla­tive ac­tions, we fur­ther so­licit the sup­port of the Deped, which ac­cord­ing to them is very cru­cial.

1. Grant of salary in­crease for pub­lic school teach­ers as promised by Pres­i­dent Duterte him­self;

2. Can­cel­la­tion of anoma­lous and un­just poli­cies of the GSIS or set­ting-up a sep­a­rate sys­tem for pub­lic school teach­ers and Deped em­ploy­ees; and

3. Al­lo­ca­tion of funds to fully im­ple­ment the wel­fare pro­vi­sions of the 53-year old Magna Carta for Pub­lic School Teach­ers

Our teach­ers play a cru­cial role in the de­liv­ery of ed­u­ca­tion ser­vice to ev­ery Filipino chil­dren. And we be­lieve that if they are pro­vided with the needed as­sis­tance and their wel­fare con­cerns are be­ing ad­dressed, they can en­hance the teach­ing and ac­com­plish ev­ery task with pas­sion, en­thu­si­asm and ded­i­ca­tion.

We anticipate a pos­i­tive re­sponse from the Sec­re­tary./by

Benjo Basas, Na­tional Chair, Teach­ers Dig­nity Coali­tion

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