The call for the scrapping of the K to 12 program of the Department of Education reverberates anew.
The nagging call appears just understandable for a number of pragmatic reasons.
At this time of looming economic crisis, it does not help the family economy, which is facing post pandemic financial trauma, by spending extra, especially with the fund requirements for face-to-face classes, like fare, food, school supplies and related allowances.
There is also that convenient argument that the shorter basic education curriculum and the eventual college life are the faster way for one to be economically productive.
Add to these the “flaws” of the program, including what had been peddled earlier on the employability of the K to 12 graduates.
It’s a good thing that the incoming national leadership, instead of readily acceding to the apparently popular call for the K to 12 abolition, is seeking the review of this curricular program.
Personally, I am for its retention having taught in a senior high school following my retirement from university teaching, I have seen the K to 12 value in preparing student better for college life.
A welcome development is the move of the Commission on Higher Education to help authorities in the review processes of the K to 12 implementation.
CHED, however, must also do its own self-review to remove possible redundancies in curricular content particularly in the early phase of college education.
Based on my experience, the course content in my Grade 12 classes were about more than half identical with that of the introductory subjects in the university.
More specialized subjects must, therefore, be offered in college considering that generally senior high school students are expected to enroll in the university in a course relevant to the strand they choose in the final years of their basic education.
Indeed, a thorough review of the senior high school program is in order.
Earlier, in 2018 the Supreme Court decided that the K to 12 implementation is constitutional following the petition to scrap it shortly after it was started in 2016-17.
The forth coming review will be of prime interest, particularly to education stakeholders.
Above and beyond the infusion in recent years of school infrastructure, laboratory equipment and other hardware as well as the hiring of additional manpower, there must be a compelling reason to justify the K to 12 program continuation.
Will the argument of keeping pace with international education standards – the Philippines being cited as among the last countries to adopt K to 12 – be a strong reason for its retention?
As early as the launching years of the implementation, I was already against the additional years to our basic education system.
If keeping pace with international standards is that important, I wonder why I was admitted in a U.S. graduate school, which has a highly selective admission process.
Eventually, I had to re-think that position for a very personal reason. This may be an isolated experience but it led me to the realization why coping with international standards matters.
The international Asia-Pacific regional organization which invited me to conduct a lecture series in two higher education institutions in Myanmar in 2015 later told me that it encountered certain questions from the education ministry of that country “lack of years” in education because I come from a system, which had only 10 years of basic education.
What eventually led to the granting of the permit for me to hold lectures was the presentation of documents that showed I have a graduate degree from a U.S. university.
I trust that the outcome of the review will lead to the genuine goal of the program – toward the strengthening of our educational system, the alleviation of poverty and the preparation of human resources to fit into the challenges of development and industrialization in the years ahead.
The innovative scholarship program of the provincial government is very laudable.
The grant, Scholarship for Local Leaders on Barangay Governance, provides qualified barangay captains the opportunity to earn 15 units that will make them eligible to earn a Certificate in Public Administration through the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos, the Capitol’s partner institution for the continuing education program for barangay leaders.
Karen Dinsay, head of the Capitol Scholarship Office, said that 50 barangays captains from the six districts of the province will be the initial beneficiaries.
The first group of trainees most has at least two years of college education.
The training, which will be held online every Saturday for four months, will start mid-July.
The baccalaureate degree holder – participant will earn credits should he or she pursue masteral studies in the university.
Dinsay said the grant is one of the 25 scholarship categories offered by the provincial government which have benefitted thousands of Negrenses in their pursuit of higher education.
Among the grants are opportunities to study in Australia and Japan.
Dinsay is working with Board Member Juvy Pepillo, head of the federation of barangay captains in planning, coordinating and ensuring the success of the program, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
We congratulate Gov. Bong Lacson, BM Pepillo, Karen the UNO-R officials and those who work hard for the realization of this educational program.
We trust that – whether the barangay election pushes through in December and whatever the outcome is for those seeking re-election – the academic program will prove beneficial and will further strengthen the leadership, management and supervision of the basic political unit in the country – the barangay.
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35) – NWI