Worries K-12 program may fail persist at HouseBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — The proposed bill which would become the enabling law for the K-12 basic education program, House Bill 6643 or the Revised Basic Education Reform Act of 2012, has already been passed on second reading but lawmakers on Thursday still failed to agree on the measure’s approval.
Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education and one of the authors of HB 6643, said that the 12-year basic education program being lobbied by the Department of Education was “perfect in concept that it seeks to provide a better quality of education to the majority of Filipinos.”
But he admitted that the government will need to beef up its support for the program for it to be successful in creating better graduates.
“It needs full government support to succeed. We are hopeful that in the coming years, greater government resources will be put behind the program,” Angara said.
Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone, a member of the House basic education and culture committee, shared the Aurora lawmaker’s opinion. He was very optimistic when HB 6643 was approved on second reading Wednesday night.
He said that he had high hopes for the K-12 program which is envisioned to improve the present 10-year basic education program by adding two more years, comparable to the basic education programs abroad.
But both Kabataan Partylist Repsentative Raymond Palatino and ACT Teachers Partylist Representative Antonio Tinio both believe that the viva voce voting on HB 6643 had been a “railroaded” approval.
Tinio maintained that the government lacked preparations for implementing K-12 since June this year. He said that the administration also lacked commitment to fully fund the new basic education program.
Both lawmakers insisted that the K-12 program was not the solution to the country’s continuing problems with its 10-year basic education program, saying that what had to be addressed were the shortage in classrooms, teachers, learning materials and other resources.
“If we implement the K-12 without bridging the gaps in the education sector, K-12 will only worsen the current education crisis,” Palatino said.