"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Monday, November 19, 2012

Youth solon laments passage of K-12 bill on 3rd reading



"This is a sad day for the Philippine basic education system.”
Thus said Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino with the passage of House Bill No. 6643 or the K-12 Bill on third and final reading in the House of Representatives today, with 198 affirmative votes and 8 negative votes.
The whole Makabayan bloc voted no on the said bill.
 ”I fear that instead of reforming the current education system, the railroaded passage of the K-12 Bill will further escalate the education crisis in the country. As we have pointed out, time and again, the additional years in basic education would translate to additional burdens to thousands of Filipino families in the coming years,” Palatino said.
 ”There is indeed a consensus that we need to reform the basic education curriculum. There is much room for reform. But legislating a bill that adds two years without the proper preparations is a turn for the worse,” Palatino continued.
 “It is easy to say that adding two years will improve the quality of basic education and would improve employment statistics in the country. But we lack the figures, we lack data. Let us be reminded that employment is not wholly a function dependent on the number of years of schooling,” the youth solon explained.
“We are passing a bill concerned with the formative years of our children without waiting for a conclusive evaluation of the curriculum and its effects. I am a father of two children who will be affected by this bill. And I am bothered, as a legislator and as a parent, that my children – our children – will face an educational system prescribed by world financial institutions to reorient the education system towards serving labor-export policies,” Palatino said.
Under the K-12 curriculum, students will be taught four preparatory technical vocational courses in Grades 7 and 8. In Grades 9-12, students can choose their specializations, similar to courses offered by TESDA, which includes aquaculture, tailoring, carpentry, caregiving, and household services, among others.
“Curricular reforms are not enough to resolve the high drop-out rates in the high school level. DepEd already decongested the basic education curriculum under the Revised Basic Education Curriculum (RBEC) over a decade ago. Yet, we still have high drop-out rates,” Palatino explained.
“If we implement K-12, can we promise K-12 graduates that they will have jobs after they graduate? No, we cannot promise that. Even college graduates now find it hard to get jobs,” Palatino added.
Palatino added that the sponsors of the bill failed to answer several key issues on the K-12 program, including the budgetary requirements, inadequate preparation of teachers, and lack of proper facilities to implement the program.
“K-12 is an ambitious program that will adversely affect the Filipino youth’s future. Adding two more years to basic education translates to added burdens, both on part of the government and the families of students. Two more years of education is tantamount to two more years of torture,” Palatino ended.

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