MANILA, Philippines – Party-list legislators claim that the Department of Education (DepEd) is not yet ready for the passage of the K to 12 law.
Party-list representatives Antonio Tinio (ACT Teachers) and Raymond Palatino (Kabataan) said on Thursday, October 18, that supporters of House Bill 6643, or the Revised Basic Education Reform Act, failed to prove that DepEd is prepared for the law that will fully implement the program.
Despite the absence of a law, DepEd implemented this school year the K to 12 program in grades 1 and 7 in public schools. But the department admitted there is an estimated classroom backlog of 66,800 in public schools, and a backlog of 124,286 toilets for the school year 2012-2013.
“For the K to 12 reform program to significantly improve the quality of basic education, it must first solve existing shortages. Sadly, there is no indication anywhere in the bill of the intention to do so,” Tinio said.
The bill will put into law the DepEd’s program, which prescribes an enhanced basic education program that covers one year of kindergarten education, 6 years of elementary education, and 6 years of secondary education consisting of 4 years junior high school and two years senior high school education.
Tinio added that DepEd has not yet fully developed and tested the new curriculum for all the grade levels. The program was launched this school year to cover grades 1 and 7 students in public schools.
“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.
Before it adjourned for a two-week recess, the House of Representatives passed on second reading the K-12 bill. Once the measure is approved on third reading, a bicameral conference committee will be created to reconcile conflicting provisions in the versions approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The committee report will then be sent to President Benigno Aquino III for his signature.
Aquino promised in his first State of the Nation Address in 2010 that he’ll push for the K to 12 education reform – Rappler.com