No to DepEd's K to 12

The House Committee on Education has approved the bill extending basic education in the Philippines by two years. The Inquirer reports that there were mixed reactions among lawmakers but only two members voted against the bill: Gabriela partylist representative Luzviminda Ilagan and Kabataan partylist Raymond Palatino:
...In a statement, Ilagan said that the developments on the K-12 program would spell a “disaster” for the country’s education system, pointing out that the education allocation for next year was short by P42 billion to reach the needed P334 billion budget... 
...Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino has stressed that the K-12 program, which adds a year each in elementary and high school levels, was not the solution to problems of the Philippine education system.
It is quite ironic that for a bill that addresses basic education, the two dissenting votes come from women's rights and youth groups. The Alliance of Concerned Teachers and Teachers Dignity Coalition have both expressed opposition against DepEd's K to 12, yet these concerns seem to fall on deaf ears within the executive branch. And now, it seems that a similar predicament exists in the legislature. In order for the problems Philippine basic education faces to be correctly addressed, input and support from the teachers is very important. And yet, their voices are not being heard.

Cong. Palatino lecturing in front of a class
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This same legislature passed the kindergarten bill without fully appreciating what kindergarten requires in terms of resources. And this is not rocket science. Kindergarten requires additional classrooms, teachers and toilets. Volunteer teachers continue to be exploited. First grade teachers add kindergarten to their teaching load to increase their pay because teachers' salaries remain inadequate to support a family. The strong support of the education committee would have been understandable if these facts were not that obvious. But the sad plight of kindergarten is obvious. The committee's stand is simply irresponsible.

The following is among the public service advertisements for INDIEpendensya Film Festival: Asserting the Nation's Real Independence, held at the University of the Philippines Diliman from Sept 17-19, 2012. In this clip, the children start singing a song about how good life is with being together singing and laughing. Then the teacher begins to discuss how these children can contribute to the development of the country in the future. The children then begin reciting what they would like to be in the future:
  • To become a meat packer in Canada
  • To become a call center worker
  • To make clothing for exports
  • To become a sales lady
  • To become a domestic helper in Singapore
  • To become a driver in Korea
  • To become a nurse in the US