Teachers link arms with other sectors to stop K-12*
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) reiterated its call on the government to seriously consider the suspension of the K-12 program amidst the Department of Education’s pronouncements that the system is ready for the program.
“We are in the front row and we believe that we grasp things better than those in the central office of the DepEd.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson and a public school teacher from Caloocan.
Basas added that this is the general sentiment of the teachers nationwide which “even some mid-level officials of the department share.” He continues “But beyond sentiment this is the reality and the DepEd and Malacanang should face it, we are not ready for this ambitious program.”
The group as early as year 2012 declared that the K-12 program would be successful if the government would not prioritize the basic needs of the sector such as books, classrooms, facilities, technology, instructional materials and most especially, teachers.
TheK-12 program is a system adopted by the Philippine government under Republic Act 10533 which was enacted in year 2012. The law provides for a compulsory kindergarten and senior high school programs in Philippine schools, thus, adding at least 3 years in the country’s education cycle. The graduates of batch 2015 were the last students graduated under the old curriculum and the incoming Grade 10 (4th year high school) this school year would be the first batch of students graduating under the K-12 program in year 2018.
“The K-12 program is not just our issue, it affects all the stakeholders of education- including of course the students and their parents and the teachers and employees in the tertiary level. Thus, we will link arms with them for a stronger advocacy and protest group.” Basas added.
Basas said that while they are still waiting for the decision of the high court on the petition filed by several groups seeking to suspend the program, they will also utilize the legislature by asking some congressmen and senators for a legislative action from congressional inquiry to amendment of the law.
“We are now getting the support of some multi-sectoral and labor groups for this objective and we already had initial talks with some legislators from both houses.” Basas said.
While they are opposing the system, the group said they appreciate the idea of introducing senior high school program in the country. However, under the existing system and orientation of Philippine government they fear the program will fail.
“To be successful, the K-12 program would need the support of major stakeholders- teachers, students and parents and if we are in doubt as to the validity of its orientation and the capacity and willingness of the government to fund its full implementation, we would always call for its suspension.” Basas ended.
Reference: Benjo Basas, Chairperson- 09205740241
April 20, 2015
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