SC urged to rule on bid to scrap K to 12 program
Parents, teachers and students of the Manila Science High School on Monday urged the Supreme Court to rule on the petition that sought to nullify the K to 12 program of the Department of Education that added two more years to the country’s 10-year basic education system.
In an urgent motion, the petitioners through their legal counsel Atty. Severo Brilliantes said the high court should resolve their petition which was filed last June 2015 seeking to stop the implementation of Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act.
“After more than nine months from the filing of the instant petition last June 23, 2015, the Honorable Court finally issued a resolution last April 5, 2016 giving due course to their said petition and for the petitioners to submit their Memorandum. It is however almost a year now since the petitioners filed their said Memorandum last May 2, 2016. Most sadly, no judgment has yet been rendered by the Honorable Court on their said petition,” the petitioners lamented.
While they understand the heavy workload of the justices, petitioners said this case will affect the fate of millions of students who were affected by the implementation of the K to 12 program.
“Said petitioners have already suffered the grave injustice and irreparable injury of being compelled to still go through one year of Senior High School, which this despotic and anti-democratic education program, pushed by purely selfish private school interests, has inflicted on them. They beseech the Honorable Court as the last bulwark of democracy and the legitimate recourse of their grievances, to once and for all come to their aid, pursuant to its solemn and sacred obligation under the Constitution, by granting the reliefs they have long prayed for: Stop K to 12 by declaring it to be unconstitutional and finally allow them to be admitted to college this coming school year of 2017-2018,’ they added.
In the said April 2016 resolution, the high court denied the petitioners’ plea for the issuance of a temporary restraining order, thereby paving the way for the DepEd to proceed with the K to 12 program’s implementation.
The petitioners argued that their plea has been long ripe for decision, adding that they were able to prove that RA 10533 has “indeed materially and substantially invaded the clear and unmistakable constitutional rights of herein petitioner students as well as the class they represent, “among which they said is their vested right to graduate after four years of high school and thus to be admitted to college “free from the unfair and unreasonable admission requirement of still going through Senior High School.”
They added that contrary to the repeated claims of DepEd, the K to 12 has resulted in the clear abandonment by the State of its constitutionally mandated obligation to provide free public education as well as to make quality education accessible to all.
“Herein petitioners beseech the Honorable Court to save the Philippines from the catastrophe which K to 12 has wrought on the Filipino students, parents and teachers, by now rendering judgment on their petition,” the petitioners averred.
In their original plea, the petitioners also explained to the SC that the MSHS should no longer be covered by the K to 12 since its curriculum is “heavier in scope” compared with the K to 12 curriculum that the DepEd will be fully implementing (for the senior high school).
They also said the DepEd failed to consult them prior to the program’s implementation.
Petitioners also accused the DepEd of usurping legislative powers in issuing Order No. 31, which implemented the K-12 Basic Education Curriculum and Senior High School level since it was issued without the legal authority from Congress which is still deliberating the passage of RA 10533 at that time.
Apart from the MSHS teachers, parents and students, the other petitioners against the K to 12 are the Council for Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Magdalo party-list Reps. Ashley Acedillo and Gary Alejano, UP professor Eduardo Alicias, Richard Troy Colmenares, ACT Teachers party-list rep. Antonio Tinio, Carlos Zarate (Bayan Muna Partylist), Emmi De Jesus and Luz Ilagan (Gabriela Partylist), Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap (Anakpawis Partylist), Terry Ridon (Kabataan Partylist).