Luistro to teachers: Fate of K to 12 is in your hands

Jee Y. Geronimo
Luistro to teachers: Fate of K to 12 is in your hands
'It is much more than a change in curriculum. It requires a change of perspective. It requires a change of heart of those who will implement it and bring that to fruition.'

MANILA, Philippines –  Education Secretary Armin Luistro has entrusted the the fate of the K to 12 program to the country’s teachers, whom he called the “face” of the reform that his department will fully implement in 2016.

Luistro made the statement on Wednesday, April 8, before 1,700 graduates of the Philippine Normal University (PNU) – designated by law as the country’s national center for teacher education. (READ: Which schools produce the most passers in teachers’ board exam?)

“Things will change at the top, but you will be the face of that reform. You will tell people if it was a success or failure. You will make that commitment and whether you like it or not, the success of the program and whatever we try to start is in your hands,” he said.

Luistro was apparently referring to the fact that the Department of Education leadership will change once a new administration takes over next year.

With the signing of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, two years have been added to the basic education system of the Philippines. (INFOGRAPHIC: 10 things about K to 12)

The first batch of students under the program will enter senior high school’s grade 11 in 2016, and grade 12 in 2017.

In the past months, the program has met criticism from educators and lawmakers alike, many of whom want it suspended while some have filed a petition before the Supreme Court questioning the program.

Luistro has repeatedly defended the K to 12 program, saying the Philippines is ready for it and preparations must continue, or reforms for the last 5 years will go to waste.

‘Light in the dark’

On Wednesday, Luistro urged aspiring teachers to look at K to 12 beyond the change in curriculum.

“This is the fifth year of our educational reform. It is much more than a change in curriculum. It requires a change of perspective. It requires a change of heart of those who will implement it and bring that [to] fruition. It requires your cooperation, your initiative, and your own contribution to make the reform work,” he said.

In his speech, Luistro also spoke of the role of teachers in recent disasters, and lauded their grit as modern-day heroes.

He also said that DepEd might hire 90% to 100% of the 2015 PNU graduates to teach in the 47,000 schools in the country. 

Luistro urged the graduates to take up the challenge and be the light in the darkest places of the country.

“Most distinguished Class of 2015, we will not bask in our last minutes, but yours will be just beginning. May your grit outlast the shadows and fears and anxieties of our time. Tandaan ninyo: sa pagsapit ng dilim ng gabi, lalo namang nagniningning ang mga bituin (Remember: Stars shine even brighter in the darkness of night),” said Luistro.

PNU conferred upon Luistro a degree in Doctor of Education, Honoris Causa, “for his invaluable dedication and commitment to education.”

Aside from the K to 12, PNU said the Cabinet official’s reforms include partnerships with local government units and corporations “to solve the congestion, zoning, and lack of urban planning in education.” – Rappler.com

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.