- The Department of Education (DepEd) expressed their openness to the House of Representatives’ plan to review the K to 12 Basic Education Program.
- Earlier, House Speaker Cayetano had also expressed his concern about the program’s effectiveness
- DepEd has also stated that it’s also too early to say whether K to 12 is effective or not, specifically when it comes to graduate employability.
The Department of Education (DepEd) expressed their openness to the House of Representatives’ plan to review the K to 12 Basic Education Program.
In a statement on Sunday, House speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said that the Lower House is in consensus that the K to 12 Program has to be reviewed. Speaker Cayetano had also expressed his concern about the program’s effectiveness.
On Monday, DepEd released its own statement in reaction to a proposal by the House of Representatives to review the status of programs and policies under the department’s K to 12 Program so that it’s achievements and challenges can be identified.
“Congress and DepEd have worked closely together since the previous budget hearings to address the issues of the K to 12 Program. A dedicated review session will provide an appropriate venue to comprehensively discuss concerns about the Program and plot out corresponding solutions,” the DepEd said.
The K to 12 Program stems from the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013. It aims to provide Filipino students with a 12-year education cycle after kindergarten. The Philippines is the last country in Asia, and one of only 3 countries worldwide (the other two being Angola and Djibouti), with a 10-year pre-university cycle.
DepEd further reiterated its commitment to cooperate with the House to further improve the program’s implementation.
“With an additional P650 million in the proposed 2020 budget specifically for the improvement of the 12-year basic education program, DepEd commits to coordinate and collaborate with the members of the Congress in strategizing effective implementation of the Program in adherence to Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 for the benefit of the learners,” DepEd said.
With its realignment of the proposed budget, the House of Representatives added P850 million for DepEd, with P650 million exclusively for the improvement of the K to 12 Program.
“Likewise, DepEd hopes the outcome of the review will spur renewed commitment and initiatives among lawmakers, advocates, and other stakeholders in aid of realizing the K to 12 program’s overall goal – hone holistically developed Filipino learners with 21st century skills,” it added.
Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali also commented on Monday that it is too early to say if the implementation of the K to 12 Program under the Enhanced Basic Education Act has been effective, especially when it comes to graduate employability.
“We’re still collating information to see whether senior high school (SHS) graduates who were expected to work post-graduation indeed ended up employed. It’s too early to say,” Umali said in Filipino.
He reasoned that it was difficult to gage its effectiveness, given that the first batch of Senior High School graduates only finished the mandatory 12 years of basic education in March 2018.
Umali added that the Free Tertiary Education Act may also have attracted more students to pursue higher studies.
“The number of students pursuing higher education increased since the Free Tertiary Education Act. It isn’t like before, when only half of high school graduates pursued college education when K to 12 was not implemented yet. We still need to study this increase in relation to the K to 12 program,” Umali added in Filipino.
Speaking on the issue, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte would not interfere in the review.
At a briefing in Malacañang Monday, Panelo said they would leave the issue “to the wisdom of Congress.” -CNN/Inquirer/Rappler