MANILA, Philippines – Extending the number of years students are educated from 10 to 12 is an ambitious but “essential reform” that will put the Philippines in line with the rest of the world, says a former UN official.
Sheldon Shaeffer, former director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), lent his support to the government’s plan in a lecture in Pasig City as part of the International Education Colloquium.
The Department of Education (DepEd) is planning to extend the basic school system to 12 years by 2016, but the move has not met unanimous support. Some say that the country is not yet prepared for such a reform, as it grapples with shortages of classrooms, teachers, and learning materials. Parents have also complained they can’t afford the additional cost of keeping their children in school for another two years.
Lecturing at the DepEd’s central office, Schaeffer urged the country to push forward with the plan. He said the program would give graduates better employment opportunities and put the Philippines in line with other countries.
Only one other country uses a 10-year basic education system, Myanmar.
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