DepEd K to 12: A View from Mindanao
Ten years of quality education are better than twelve years of mediocre onesThe Mindanao Observer June 09, 2012
In what could prove to be a major blunder, the Department of Education (DepEd) pushed through with its plan to add two (2) years to the basic education system of the country. Despite widespread clamor from parents and students for the department to reassess the wisdom of the move, the DepEd leadership saw it necessary to proceed with its plan.
The K+12 program is the government’s new program that adds two years to the existing ten-year basic education program (six years for elementary and four years for secondary school) and further requires finishing kindergarten as a precondition for those entering grade one.
The opposition to the new program is not without merit. Various sectors have been pushing that instead of lengthening the education of the students, thus prolonging the agony of parents, the DepEd must instead set their sights on improving the quality of the education that it provides.
Widespread corruption and lack of transparency have been major reasons why the department has failed to improve the quality of education in the country. The products of the country’s education system have continuously deteriorated through the years although there are still many who manage to defy odds by sheer determination and self-motivation.
In the hiring of teachers alone, so many irregularities need to be addressed and resolved. Selling of teaching positions to the highest bidders has been rampant. Instead of judging applicants based on aptitude and ability to impart knowledge to students, the “lagay” system makes sure that less qualified applicants who are willing to shell out cash get the nod.
There are also DepEd officials who ask for favors from applicants and active teachers who wish to be transferred to areas nearer their respective homes. Why are these allowed?
The teachers are the backbone of the country’s education system. Failure to hire the right ones will drastically affect what the students stand to learn. Is it not wise to first make sure that all the teachers possess the right skills to teach before even assessing if the students need more time to learn or not?
The department must also address the irresponsible practice of many teachers in rural areas who only report to work 3 to 4 times a week instead of the mandated 5. This easily subtracts 20 to 40% of learning time for students. If one does the math, in a 10-year program, that translates to 2 to 4 years already. Is the society not scandalized by this?
This is just talking about teachers. There are also problems with textbooks, classrooms, and politicians meddling in DepEd matters.
Despite all these nagging problems that need immediate attention, the Department of Education decides to lengthen the basic education of the students. Talk about prolonging the agony.
This department is in a state of denial.
A week ago....