Cayetano wants DepEd briefing on K to 12 program

Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - March 29, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Pia Cayetano has asked the Department of Education to give the Senate a briefing on its preparations for the K to 12 program amid calls for its suspension.

Cayetano, chairman of the Senate committee on education, arts and culture, noted that there are gaps in the implementation of the K to 12 program such as budget and time.

“In programs of this magnitude, does it help us to delay? Or do we have to bite the bullet and roll it out and allow the problems to surface and clean it up in the process?” she said.

“I believe it has to happen, but are we ready for this?” she added.

Supported by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a coalition of teachers and parents has taken steps to push for the suspension of the K to 12 implementation.

They argued that the country is not prepared for the program and that there are other problems in the education system that need to be addressed first.

Teachers have expressed alarm over the massive loss of jobs that would occur when the program is implemented because of the expected shortage of enrollees in college.

Trillanes has called for the convening of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Enhanced Basic Educational Program to evaluate the implementation of the K to 12 program.

Cayetano said the K to 12 could be reviewed automatically under the law but its suspension should be looked into by Congress.

Calendar change bucked

A student organization has reiterated its opposition to academic calendar change amid plans of several universities to follow suit this year.

“The academic calendar shift is a privatization and commercialization of Philippine education. In fact, it is not merely a change of the opening and closing of classes,” National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) president Sarah Elago said.

“It is a change intended to prioritize courses and programs for global market expansion, to produce graduates that are for cheap and docile labor of global corporations, to entice foreign students enrollment for financial gains and to increase and impose school fees,” she added.

According to NUSP, several universities are planning to follow the lead of the University of the Philippines (UP), which moved the opening of classes from June to August starting last year.

The group said among those planning to change the opening of classes are the De La Salle Araneta University, University of Cordilleras and Benguet State University.

The De La Salle University, Ateneo de Manila University and University of Santo Tomas have approved the shift of opening of classes to August starting this year.

In addition to UP, other universities that changed their academic calendars in 2014 include Saint Louis University, University of Baguio, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology and the University of Caloocan City.

UP president Alfredo Pascual earlier said the shift is part of the continuing efforts of UP to develop into a regional and global university.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Patricia Licuanan earlier issued a statement opposing the calendar change.

“There is no provision in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration about synchronizing academic calendars of higher education institutions in the region,” she said.

“There is concern for families, particularly those from farming and fishing communities, who would have difficulty with an August school opening because agricultural cycles cause them to run out of financial resources in August, hence a June start is most feasible,” she added. – With Janvic Mateo

 

ACIRC ALFREDO PASCUAL ANTONIO TRILLANES ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS CAYETANO CHAIRMAN PATRICIA LICUANAN DE LA SALLE ARANETA UNIVERSITY DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ENHANCED BASIC EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM UNIVERSITY
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