K to 12 not 100% ready, but we've done our part – Luistro

NUEVA VIZCAYA, Philippines – Although admitting that the country is not yet 100% ready for the opening of the senior high school program, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said they, at the central office of the Department of Education (DepEd), have done their part in the K to 12 implementation.

Luistro said their job represented the 50% readiness for the K to 12 program, which included the concept and planning. (INFOGRAPHIC: 10 things about K to 12)

"So 50% is done. The remaining 50% of the grade, 'pag umiikot ako, 'yung naikutan ko 85% to 90% ready. So hindi ko naikutan lahat ng divisions pero that's my data," Luistro said in a press briefing during the national kick-off ceremony of Brigada Eskwela in Santa Cruz Pingkian High School in Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya, on Monday, May 30.

(I had been going around the country and I can say we are 85% to 90% ready. I have not been to all divisions, but that's my data.)

"We are on the phase of implementation, parang, kumbaga, nasulat na, na-approved na, nabigyan na ng pondo 'yung architectural design para sa isang K to 12 building. On the part of the central office, tapos na po kami dun," Luistro added.

(We are on the phase of implementation already. It was already written and approved. The funds were approved already for the K to 12 buildings. On the part of the [DepEd] Central Office, we're already done with it.)

He said the remaining job is already up to their local counterparts – DepEd's regional and division offices.

"Kung may building na hindi matatapos, ngayon pa lang, may Plan B and Plan C na sila. Meron na silang na i-dentify na excess classroom o kaya another program that will address that. So 'yun, kampante ako dun," he said.

(If there will be unfinished buildings for the program, right now, they have already alternative Plan B and Plan C. They already have identified excess classrooms to be used or another program to address that. I am confident of that.)

Around 1.5 million of students are expected to enter senior high school's Grade 11 in 2016, according to DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo.

Transition, going digital

Luistro refused to comment on President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's choice for DepEd secretary, but said they are now preparing for the transition report for the turnover.

Duterte recently offered the education department to retired University of the Philippines professor Leonor Briones.

In his speeches on Monday, Luistro pitched goodbye words to his colleagues, saying he is proud of his accomplishments during his stint as DepEd secretary.

"I will pass those to my successor, there is a need to really monitor those that are programmed and budgeted, those that are part of the overall plan and, if there are enhancements that have to be done, I hope the new administration will focus on that," Luistro said in a mix of Filipino and English, referring to the K to 12 program.

After K to 12, he said, the next administration should focus on digitizing the education system, giving more schools access to information technology (IT).

"The next big revolution in education is IT. The next administration should not only focus on the delivery, but the actual usage of IT as part of learning. They can use the world wide web of limitless possibilities and now move into independent learning," he said. – Rappler.com