Manila bulletin – ‘Competent teachers, good books keys to quality education, not K to 12’

By Mario Casayuran | Manila bulletin

ManilaBulletinOnlineThe two additional years of schooling through the K-12 program is not an effective way to improve the quality of education in the country. Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., stressed yesterday.

Marcos, chairman of the Senate local government committee, said that raising the competency of teachers and upgrading educational materials are the keys to raising the quality of education of Filipino students.

Marcos said full implementation of the K to 12 program, as scheduled, would be problematic because there would be shortages of classrooms and teachers.

Sen. Antonio “Sonny’’ F. Trillanes IV, chairman of the Senate national defense and security committee, earlier raised questions against the K to 12 program and even joined those who petitioned before the Supreme Court for the suspension of the K-12 program.

The K to 12 program, created under Republic Act 10533 (The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013) adds two more years to the high school program.

ADDRESSING THE BASICS

“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,” Marcos told some 1,000 students who attended the youth forum held this week at the Concepcion Holy Cross College in Concepcion, Tarlac.

Marcos conceded there are still many questions surrounding the program” and I think we have to rethink through the problems of K to 12.”

Instead of the K to 12, as it is conceived, Marcos pushed for the upgrading of 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.

“The life of a teacher is hard. His pay is small but all the work of government is thrown to them, including manning the electoral precincts,” Marcos added.

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.
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