Seeing that K-12 is not fulfilling its purpose, the House of Representatives is planning to review the 12-year basic education program, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said.
“We in the House are of the consensus that K-12 is not living up to its promise, which is, after you finish senior high school, you don’t have to go to college. You gain skills to be employed,” Cayetano said.
He said K-12, which was implemented in 2012-2013 school year, allows senior high school students to choose to take vocational and technical courses which would equip them for employment in the future.
“But many schools still lack equipment, whether it is automotive, electrical or sports. So there are issues that we have to address,” Cayentano added.
In recent years, the government provided huge increases for the Department of Education (DepEd) annual budget on account of K-12 program funding requirement.
Meanwhile, for 2020, the DepEd will receive P551.7 billion, which is P20.2 billion higher than this year’s budget of P531.5 billion.
In addition to mentioned amount, the House also allocated another P850 million, of which P650 million will be intended for K-12.
Give K-12 some time
On the other hand, Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), a non-profit organization, stated it is too early to conclude the effectiveness of the program.
According to PBEd chairman Ramon del Rosario Jr., the government has not produced real K-12 graduates yet, since recent completers took the first 10 years from the old curriculum then just continued to senior high school.
“We don’t have real graduates of K-12 yet, so how can we judge the effectiveness of the program?” del Rosario asked.
However, he said that PBEd is willing to join the House in reviewing the program.
A few lawmakers have bared their concerns regarding the decline in performance of high school students in national achievement examinations.
Furthermore, they mentioned a survey showing that many companies were not ready to employ K-12 or senior high graduates and still prefer college graduates.
The opposition had warned authorities that public schools might not be prepared for the K-12 because of the lack of facilities, equipment, classrooms, as well as personnel.
Also, many parents have protested that the government just created an additional two years of expenses through the program, with no clear proof that it will prepare their children for a better future.