MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Wednesday, October 17, passed on 2nd reading the proposed K-to-12 bill that will add 2 years to the country’s 10-year basic education system. It means it is one step away from final approval in the lower House.
Aimed at placing the Philippines in line with international standards, House Bill 6643 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2012 seeks to institutionalize the 12-year system. Students are required to undergo 6 years of primary education and 6 years of secondary education.
Commotion ensued in the gallery when the bill was passed. Protesting members of the audience were promptly escorted out of the plenary by the House security.
K-12 is controversial because, among others, additional years mean additional costs for parents. On the other hand, the Philippines is the last country in Asia to adopt a 12-year basic education system.
Kabataan Partylist Rep. Mong Palatino raised objections to the “rushed” approval of the bill. He said appropriate infrastructure is not yet in place and the effectivity of the new system is yet to be proven.
“Isn’t it more proper for Congress to wait for the one-year evaluation of K-12 before we legislate? I don’t understand the reason for rushing the passage of a legislation that will affect millions of students, even if the curricular reforms under K-12 have not yet been evaluated,” he said.
It was only last week, October 10, that the lower House passed K-12 bill on 1st reading. Second reading is the period where the plenary debates the bill. – Rappler.com