‘SC ruling vs K-12 unlikely’

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The government officially implemented yesterday the K-12 program, which adds two years in the country’s basic education system, without resolution of the Supreme Court (SC) on legal questions raised by its critics.

The SC has only denied the pleas of petitioners for issuance of temporary restraining order (TRO) on the controversial program earlier this year, but has not handed down a decision and resolved the merits of the case.

An insider in the high court believes a decision stopping implementation of the K-12 program, which took several years in preparation under Republic Act 10533 (The Enhanced Basic Education Act), is “not likely.”

“It would be impractical to revert to the previous system at this point,” the source suggested, adding that the decision not to stop the program and reject the plea for TRO was telling.

The SC last acted on the case in summer session in Baguio last April when it decided to deny the plea for an oral argument in the four petitions filed by organizations against the K-12 program.

The high court then directed parties to just submit in 20 days their respective memoranda or summaries of arguments before it decides on merits of the case.

Last year, four petitions were filed before the SC against the program implemented under RA 10533 and Department of Education (DepEd) Order No. 31.

The Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines filed the first petition questioning the legality of K-12 and its implementing rules and regulations.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV then filed a similar petition, along with a group of college teachers and staff called “Suspend K-12 Coalition.”

Two more petitions were then filed by the Suspend K-12 Alliance led by Bayan Muna party-list Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate and a group of parents and teachers from Manila Science High School (MSHS).

Petitioners argued that the K-12 law violated their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.

They assailed the lack of consultation with parents and teachers prior to the issuance of the order.

Petitioners also accused the DepEd of usurping legislative powers in issuing Order No. 31, which implemented the K-12 Basic Education Curriculum and Senior High School.

They said the assailed order was issued without legal authority since Congress was still deliberating on the law at that time.

Malacañang also defended yesterday the DepEd, saying the agency can very well manage initial problems in the K to 12 program.

“DepEd continues to monitor and address all concerns pertaining to the opening of senior high schools in line with the full implementation of the K to 12 program,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

“The unified efforts of parents, teachers, communities and all stakeholders will continue to contribute to more effective implementation which is essential to bringing our educational system to parity with global standards,” he added. With Delon Porcalla



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