SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. says the K to 12 program, which will add two years of schooling, is not an effective way to improve the quality of education in the country.
Instead, Sen. Bongbong said that raising the competency of teachers and upgrading educational materials are the keys to raising the quality of education of Filipino students.
The K-12 program, created under Republic Act 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, adds two more years to the high school program.
“I’m not sure that just putting two extra years will improve the educational attainment of our students. What we should do is strengthen the educational system that we have,” he told some one thousand students who attended the youth forum held last Wednesday in Concepcion Holy Cross College in Concepcion, Tarlac.
Asked by a student if K-12 will improve the quality of education in the country, he replied: “Marami pang questions and I think we have to rethink through the problems of K-12.”
Instead of the K-12, as it is conceived, Sen. Bongbong batted for upgrading the economic condition of teachers by increasing their salaries and providing them with trainings and seminars in order to enhance their competencies.
He said the government should likewise invest in procuring modern and high standard books as well as construct adequate school buildings, classrooms and other educational facilities.
“The teachers need support so that they do not have to find other ways to earn a living thus allowing them to concentrate on teaching. We do not have enough school buildings. Our materials, school supplies that we provide our students in public schools, are below standard. These are the first things that we should attend to,” he said.
“Mahirap ang buhay ng teacher, maliit lang ang sahod pero lahat ng trabaho ng gobyerno at kapag may nangyayari sa lugar natin, sino ang pupuntahan natin kundi teacher. Pagdating ng eleksyon, sino ang gagawa ng trabaho kundi teacher,” Sen. Bongbong said.
Marcos is the author of Senate Bill 109 which seeks to increase the minimum salary of public elementary and high school teachers. It is pending approval in the Senate.
The K-12 mandates kindergarten, six years of elementary, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school.
The Department of Education has started implementing universal kindergarten in school year 2011-2012, and the new curriculum for Grade 7 in school year 2012-2013.
The Grade 11 curriculum will start nationwide in school year 2016-2017 while the Grade 12 curriculum will kick off in school year 2017-2018.
Marcos said full implementation of the K to 12 program, as scheduled, will be problematic because there will be a shortage of classrooms and teachers.
“Sa palagay ko baka hindi kakayanin ng 2016. We can have quality education without the additional two years,” he said.