'12-year education cycle won't work'

Posted at 10/05/10 9:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The newly-unveiled K+12 program of the Department of Education (DepEd) '"won't work" until the quality of education improves first, students and parents against the program said Tuesday.

A group of students and parents greeted the official launch of the government's 12-year basic education program with a protest.

League of Filipino Students (LFS) national chairman Terry Ridon said the program, which will add two more years to the basic school cycle, won't work until the quality of education first improves.

The students also said a bigger budget should be allocated to education to fix the present system.

Meanwhile, the Kabataan Partylist said the additional years in the curriculum will only yield "more problems."

"The move to add two years in basic education will not answer the country's declining quality of education, the growing number of out-of-school youth, nor will it lift the country's employment rate," the group said in a statement.

It cited five reasons to counteract the initiative:

  • Additional two years would mean extra expense for parents of public school goers, a majority of whom belong to impoverished sectors.
  • It is the government which would be 'throwing money into the problem'.
  • It will not resolve the high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth.
  • It is designed to reinforce cheap semi-skilled labor for foreign needs.
  • The genuine solution is for the promotion of an educational system that would truly address the needs of the Filipino youth and Philippine society in general.

"Instead of adding years, the government must focus on measures aimed at increasing state spending on education to six (6) percent of the GDP, stopping unjust tuition and other fee increases in all levels, promoting a nationalist curriculum, upholding democratic rights of students, improving teachers' welfare, and improve science, research and technology development," the statement said.

"It must also promote transparency and sanction corruption cases in education programs and review existing policies and institutions of education," it added.

The DepEd announced the K+12 program on Tuesday to coincide with World Teachers' Day.

The program is broken down into 6 years of elementary school, 4 years of junior high school, and 2 years of senior high school.

The DepEd plans to implement the new education cycle in phases, beginning 2012. With reports from Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News