K to 12 unnecessary, Trillanes contends
Kristine B. Quintas/JMO (The Freeman) - February 23, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV told Cebuano students that he will continue to push for the suspension of the K to 12 education program, arguing it’s not beneficial.

Trillanes said the country does not need the program, pointing out that the 10-year system is already sufficient.

“I am really against it. That’s why I am pushing for the suspension of K to 12 because nobody needs it,” he said in a recently concluded forum at the University of Cebu-Main Campus.

It can be recalled that Trillanes opposed the passage of the K to 12 Law due to the same unresolved problems of the country’s education system, which could dispute the good intention of the measure.

During the forum, he asked students if they need two more years of education to be an efficient worker. The response was a resounding “no.”

“If you don’t need to more years, so why would we impose such? The employers are not asking for a 12-year old system,” he said.

Trillanes said the poor quality of the country’s education system can be solved by addressing fundamental and perennial problems such as lack of classrooms and school materials, high student-teacher ratio, and low salary of teachers.

He cited as example a school desk and an instructional manual shared by five students. Some teachers in Metro Manila are teaching 70-80 students in one classroom, doubled the standard student-ration of 1:40. 

Trillanes is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization. He himself conducted a country-wide inspections and consultations on K to 12.

If these “shortcomings” are addressed, Trillanes believes that the government can provide a conducive learning environment which, in turn, will improve a student’s performance in school.

“These are the things we need to correct and not by implementing the K to 12,” he said.

Aside from that, he said government is still unprepared with the threatened retrenchment of around 85,000 college professors and employees when the program commences.

“More than numbers, these are people who have families to support. The government should have anticipated this scenario when they pushed for this overly ambitious program,” he said.

He lamented over the volunteer status of many Kindergarten teachers who earn only P3,000 per month. He, likewise, questioned the inadequate training being provided for teachers who, sometimes, shoulder the cost of their training, in preparation for the K to 12 implementation.

Trillanes also belied government’s claim that they have already eradicated classroom backlogs.

“That is not true. There are still a lot of schools that continue to use make-shift classrooms, or take shifts in using classrooms just to accommodate their students,” he said.

He claimed that the situation would even worsen once two batches of students would be absorbed in addition to the four levels of high school that we have now.

In terms of school materials, he said students will continue to share with each other with the ratio of as high as four students per module, adding that this number will definitely increase as the K to 12 Program commences in the next school year, in June. –(FREEMAN)

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