Bleak future for K-12 predicted
“If we are going to predict the K-12 implementation through the first week of school year 2013-2014, we can easily conclude that there would be a bleak future for the education sector.” Benjo Basas, national chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) said Monday.
The TDC said that while they agree that this year’s school opening is generally orderly, it doesn’t hide the fact that the government needs to address the basic requirements for a successful implementation of its flagship program.
While the DepEd boasts of a record-high recruitment of teachers numbering to more than 60, 000 this year, TDC said that it will not essentially lessen the teacher to student ratio in actual classroom situation. “Let us also remind the DepEd that there are still those volunteers and locally paid teachers all over the country who are tasked to perform the same workload as their nationally-paid counterparts but are paid much lesser.” Basas said.
The group is opposed to the K-12 program since the Aquino administration publicly stated its plan to expand the basic education system in 2010. “Education must be prioritized in budgeting and the welfare of the teachers should be in paramount consideration. The K-12 is now a law, thus the government is also mandated to provide all the necessities of the program.”
Basas noted that while the Department of Education (DepEd) claimed that it has closed the gaps in shortages of books and chairs, it is very evident that many schools lack chairs and has no provision of books. “Many students as evidenced by the news reports and our observations in the field were forced to sit on the floor, others brought their own chairs or mats.” Basas recalled.
The shortage in books is yet to be observed since books are released to students several weeks after the school opening. “But we are sure that in some subject areas, like in Filipino, there is no provision of books for a decade now. The teachers produce their own reading materials for their students. The distribution of learning materials to respective schools should have been finished before the school year opens, because we are now in the second year of implementing K-12.” Basas continued.
The DepEd earlier said it would soon deliver the learning packages to students and teachers as alternative to textbooks.
Lack of classrooms, toilets and other facilities such as computers and libraries are also noted during the first week.
“These perennial problems which again surfaced during the first week of new school year show that the government’s fund for education sector is not even enough to operate the 10-year program, yet it pushed for a more expensive K-12 program unprepared.” Basas ended.
The TDC will join forces with other stakeholders and the members of the civil to mount campaign for greater government subsidy on public education.
Reference: Benjo Basas, Chairperson– 02-3853437/ 09205740241
June 10, 2013
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