MANILA, Philippines – Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymond Palatino reiterated his protest against the Department of Education’s (DepEd) K-12 program, which aims to add two more years to the country’s education program.
Palatino said the additional two years will also add “burden” to the government and to the families of students.
“Two more years of education is tantamount to two more years of torture,” Palatino told reporters on Thursday.
Palatino, along with youth and student groups, condemned the passage of the K-12 Bill or House Bill 6643 on second reading, alleging that Congress is railroading the bill’s passage.
"During my interpellation in the plenary yesterday, main proponents of the K-12 Bill admitted that the Department of Education is still pilot-testing the curricular reforms under K-12. My point was this: why is Congress rushing to pass this bill instead of waiting for the assessment of the pilot-testing?" he said.
Mai Uichanco, secretary general of the League of Filipino Students (LFS), also criticized the bill’s approval on second reading, citing unresolved issues such as budgeting and “the overall readiness of the government to jumpstart K-12."
"Rushing the implementation of this program will have dire effects on students. DepEd has yet to resolve the shortages in the basic education sector, and now they want K-12 to push through even if schools, teachers, and DepEd itself is not yet ready," Uichanco said.
Palatino called on his fellow lawmakers to reconsider their stand when the bill is tackled in the third reading, which is expected to happen in November.