Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro has backed calls to review the Enhanced Basic Education Act or the K-12 law as many issues, including the inadequate salary of teachers and other education personnel, were still unresolved.
Castro pushed for an investigation to look deeply into the roots of the issues like underfunding, teachers’ overload work, and the quality of education students received.
“The K to 12 program has brought with it countless number of problems with shortages in facilities, learning materials, and lacks support for adequate salaries and benefits for teachers and non-teaching personnel which ultimately compromises the quality of education the students receive,” she stressed.
According to Castro, the K-12 program did not enhance the basic education curriculum. Yet, it simply mandated an additional two years of high school and condensed lessons for the students, leaving behind many.
The lawmaker then highlighted the removal of the subject of Philippine History in high school and Filipino language and literature in tertiary are results of the K-12 program that worsened the education crisis in the country.
Castro urged the government to consider the clamor of the teachers, students and parents who experienced the program’s first-hand effects.
“Government has to put up a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented curriculum and system of education and at the same time, create more decent jobs with decent wages through national industrialization which would make available millions of jobs for Filipinos,” she said.
The solon pointed out that the K-12 review should not result in the addition of another year for mandatory military service in basic education, which will certainly not help the development and resolution of the education crisis Filipinos are experiencing today.
She also disclosed that the budget of the K-12 program increased yearly without addressing perennial problems of shortages in classrooms, learning materials, teachers and education support personnel, among others.
Castro has promised to re-file a resolution urging Congress to review the K-12 program and its implementation status.
She said it’s about time that the government takes notice of the perennial problems in education, especially those brought about by the program.
The solon also called the attention of the Department of Education and its incoming chief, Vice President-elect Sara Duterte, to listen to the outcry of the teachers, students, unions, and parents for an investigation to resolve the many problems caused by the K-12 program.