Colleges, universities buck proposal to defer K-12

Posted at 08/02/2014 8:50 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Public and private colleges and universities rejected yesterday the proposal of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to defer implementation of the K to 12 program.

“That is not legally possible unless Congress passes a new law or asks the court (Supreme Court) to declare it as unconstitutional,” said Joseph Noel Estrada, legal counsel of the Coordinating Council of Private Education Associations in the Philippines.

Doris Ferrer of the Catholic Education Association of the Philippines (CEAP) said Trillanes’ proposal is “counter-productive,” adding the country’s higher education institutions have prepared for the full implementation of the K to 12 Law in 2016.

“Most of our members are not in favor of the deferment,” she said.

Republic Act 10533, or the K to 12 Basic Education Program Law, adds two years to the four-year high school curriculum.

The additional years will serve as a specialization period for senior high school students (Grades 11 and 12) whether in vocational skills, music, arts or sports.

Ferrer said CEAP member-schools have started planning their new buildings and developing their curriculum for the new senior high school program.

Jose Paulo Campos, president of the Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities, said he does not see any reason why the government should suspend the implementation of the program.

He said the delay in the implementation of the K to 12 program would only make the Philippines less competitive than other countries in Southeast Asia.

Ferrer said the implementation of the law would not result in the displacement of teachers. “The country needs more teachers to teach in senior high school,” she said.

Trillanes criticized the government’s “unpreparedness” for the looming retrenchment of around 85,000 college professors and employees once the program is implemented in 2016.