MANILA, Philippines – The motive behind the K to 12 program is good but we need adequate funding and training for teachers, a lawmaker said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer on Monday.
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Party-list Representative Antonio Tinio said the government was still unprepared for the full implementation of the program, citing the government’s measly budget, classroom shortages, and lack of trained teachers.
“Lilikha lang ng mga bagong problema ang pagpapatupad ng K to 12 (the implementation of K to 12 program will only generate new problems),” he said.
Tinio said the lack of classrooms has long been a problem of the system and adding kindergarten or K component of the program would only mean additional 1.6 million enrollees and additional 25,000 classrooms.
The program , he said, would also entail the need for 20,000 more kindergarten teachers.
Tinio said the DepEd tried to solve the problem by hiring contractual teachers, but these teachers were only paid P3, 000 to P6,000 a month with no additional benefits and allowances.
Aside from these problems, teachers, particularly those who were going to teach grade 1 and grade 7 pupils, lack the training needed as they were only given five days training last summer, the lawmaker said.
“Kaya may mga nag-raise ng concerns na hindi pa sila handa, dahil may tanong daw galing sa mga trainer na hindi nila masagot (There were others who raised concerns that teachers were not yet ready as they were not able to answer questions by their trainers),” said Tinio.
He said some also raised concerns that the modules and instructional materials were not yet given to the teachers.
“Ito yung mga ilang indikasyon na hindi pa sila handa (These are some of the indications that they are not yet ready),” Tinio added.
Kabataan Partylist group also criticized the program, saying Congress has yet to pass a bill on it.
Since there is no law yet to support the levels of education under the K to 12 program, elementary and secondary levels should remain as stated in the Education Act of 1982, the group said in a separate interview over Radyo Inquirer.
The group expressed concern for parents and students who are forced to follow the program and urged the government to instead pay attention to other more pressing problems of the education system such as the lack of facilities and teachers, among others.