SC upholds K-12 constitutionality
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.
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.