Teachers call for suspension of K-12 Program
Few days before President Aquino’s state of the nation address (SONA), the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) reiterated its call on the government to suspend the implementation of the K-12 program, the president’s flagship program for education sector.
“This is the general sentiment of our teachers in the field. After more than two years of implementation, the K-12 system is still in trial stage, and our children and their future should not be put in trial and error.” Said Benjo Basas, a Caloocan City teacher and the group’s national chairperson
Earlier this month, the group made the statement during the Senate Education Committee hearing on the implementation of K-12 program. Senator Antonio Trillanes, yesterday also called for the program’s suspension.
The TDC cites the problems surfaced during the first 2 years of K-12 implementation including the first month of this school year. On top of the list is the shortage in term of facilities- seats, classrooms, water and sanitation facilities and kindergarten facilities.
Another problem, Basas said, is the shortage in terms of learning and teaching materials- textbooks and teachers manuals. “The teachers are burdened in downloading materials from the DepEd website which they will reproduce charged against their own pockets.” Basas added.
“The trainings were insufficient and many of those teachers who were hired during the last two years were not trained for K-12 curriculum because DepEd hires teachers in June and the trainings were done during summer vacation.” Basas conitued.
The group also feared the imminent shortage in terms of teachers, especially in kindergarten and eventually in senior high school which will be opened in 2016. Affected teachers in the tertiary level will become jobless and the DepEd system may not be prepared to absorb all of them.
Thus, the group said that suspension of the program may be necessary. “We urge the Aquino administration to review the K-12 law and consider the government’s capacity and political will in further implementing this program. Or we may forget about its promises and subsequently suspend its implementation until substantial fund allocation for the program is met.” Basas said.
“President Aquino, we challenge you to solve these problems. We witness your willingness to do what you believe is right during the Corona impeachment and the enforcement of the disbursement acceleration program (DAP). Caring for this country’s education and public school teachers could never be a wrong act. We call on you to provide all the necessary funds to public education system and to do it in good faith.” Challenged Basas
On Sunday, July 27, a day before the president’s SONA, the group will stage a symbolic protest in plaza Miranda to demand greater budget for education sector and increase in salaries of teachers. They will release their rating of the president’s performance thru a ‘report card.’
“The president still has two years in office, a lot of things can be done within that period. He can leave a lasting legacy to our people or leave the nation in cynicism and frustration just like the previous administration.” Basas ended.
Reference: Benjo Basas, Chairperson- 09205740241
July 23, 2014
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