A blog that tackles issues on basic education (in the Philippines and the United States) including early childhood education, the teaching profession, math and science education, medium of instruction, poverty, and the role of research and higher education.
ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio lambasted the approval on second reading, without amendments, by the Lower House of HB 6643, the Revised Basic Education Reform Act of 2012, over objections on the lack of preparation for and commitment to fully fund the K to 12 program.
Tinio revealed that during committee and plenary deliberations, the bill’s proponents failed to prove that the Department of Education (DepEd) is ready to effectively implement the entire program. He scored in particular the perennial problems on teacher, classroom, textbook, and other resource shortages which impede children’s access to education.
“For the K to 12 reform program to significantly improve the quality of basic education, it must first solve existing shortages. Sadly, there is no indication anywhere in the bill of the intention to do so,” Tinio lamented. “With the creation of 61,510 teacher items, the Aquino administration will halve the current teacher shortage but K to 12 proponents failed to show that this en masse hiring will be sustained in the coming years. And how about the other critical resources?”
TInio added that DepEd has not yet fully developed and tested the new curriculum for all the grade levels including Kinder and the additional two years of high school.
During plenary debates Tuesday, Tinio argued that the bill’s appropriations clause, a standard provision usually cut-copy-pasted by lawmakers in drafting bills, is insufficient to bind the Aquino and succeeding administrations to fully fund the program. Instead, the bill’s provisions reveal the intention to let private sector fill up the gaps in public education system.
More students will be forced to enrol in private schools due to bloated class sizes, lack of teachers, and others and government will incentivize their admission through subsidies such as GASTPE and the voucher system. Classrooms, on the other hand, will be built through PPP, proven in other countries to be more expensive in the long run than public funding.
“Reliance on these forms of privatization reveals Aquino’s plan to use K to 12 to privatize education, make it more prohibitive for majority of Filipino children, and deprive them of their right to accessible education,” Tinio warned.
Tinio feared K to 12 bill’s hasty approval on final reading once session resumes in two weeks, as its proponents did not consider the valid points he and other oppositors raised during committee and plenary debates. However, he vowed to continue pushing for further preparation and greater funding for any education reform program.
With the new K to 12 curriculum in the Philippines, various tracks are now offered in the last two years of basic education. The various options available obviously make it possible for students to find themselves later unprepared for the courses they decide to take in college. A student, for instance, who finishes the accounting business management (ABM) strand in the senior high school academic track, is now required to take additional courses if the student chooses to enroll in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) major in college. These additional courses which are now called "bridging programs" are either taken during the first year of college or over several weeks in the summer before college starts.
There are bridging programs in the United States, but these are different from the ones that are now appearing in colleges in the Philippines. In Coldwater High School in Michigan, for example, the "bridging program" is an option for students…
There is information to be gained from data. Tests in schools can be informative. Scores of students provide a quick glimpse of the current state of education. Thus, it is useful to have these numbers. These numbers may not tell everything in detail with high accuracy. Nevertheless, test results allow for a useful perspective. The National Achievement Test administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines, a set of standardized tests addressing the major subjects taught in school, is an example. These tests are given to Grade 3 where students are assessed in both English and Filipino (These two subjects comprise two thirds of the exam) and Math and Science (These two account for the remaining one third). A different set of tests is given to Grade 6 pupils where each of the following 5 subjects is assigned 40 items: (Science, Math, English, Filipino and Social Studies). Another set is administered to fourth year high school students (This is currently the last year…
My spouse and I have spent the largest fraction of our lives in this community called Annandale. Last night, my wife help organized a march. In the words of another resident, James Albright: "First protest I have ever known of in Annandale. Hundreds upon hundreds protesting in front of Mason District police station". We did not expect a very large crowd, yet hundreds of families from Annandale came, which actually made social distancing very challenging. It started with a march along Columbia Pike from Barcroft Center to the Mason District Police Station. Inside the parking lot of the police station, people knelt in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time a police officer knelt on George Floyd during his final moments. Afterwards, the people, adults and children, of Annandale spoke up.
Names of African Americans brutally killed by the police were read by the son of Ricardy Anderson, Mason District representative to the Fairfax County School Board. Ander…