MANILA, Philippines — Senator Win Gatchalian on Saturday vowed to push for an oversight review of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 or the K-12 law, should he win another term in the Senate.
In a statement, Gatchalian said the implementation of the K-12 program is hounded by challenges, including a congested curriculum and inadequate preparation and training for teachers.
“Patuloy nating susuriin ang mga naging kakulangan sa K to 12 program upang matiyak na naaabot natin ang mga layunin nitong makapaghatid ng dekalidad na edukasyon,” said Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
(We will continue to analyze the shortcomings of the K to 12 program in order to ensure that we are achieving its aim of providing a quality education.)
“Maliban sa pagsusuri sa K to 12 program, patuloy nating isusulong ang mga reporma upang matiyak na hindi napag-iiwanan ang ating mga mag-aaral pagdating sa dekalidad na edukasyon tungo sa mas maayos na trabaho,” he added.
(Other than studying the K to 12 program, we will also push for reforms to ensure that our students are not lagging behind in terms of quality education, which would lead to them having decent work.)
The senator also mentioned the results of the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which showed that the Philippines scored lowest in Reading out of 79 countries. The Philippines also got the second lowest scores in Science and Mathematics.
The teachers’ readiness to implement policies such as the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) is another challenge, said Gatchalian. A 2019 study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) noted that among the challenges in implementing the MTB-MLE are inadequacies in school and teacher preparation, as well as the lack of textbooks and learning materials.
The lawmaker also stressed the need to revisit the readiness of senior high school (SHS) graduates for work, especially since the K-12 law aims to boost employment and entrepreneurship.
He noted that a 2020 discussion paper by PIDS showed that based on eight quarters of the Labor Force Survey from July 2018 to April 2020, only a little over 20 percent of SHS graduates entered the labor force and more than 70 percent chose to pursue higher education.
Meanwhile, a 2018 study by PIDS on SHS and the labor market showed that students are not confident that they can get a job after graduating from senior high school, and that even those who passed national certification assessments for the technical-vocational-livelihood strand believe that firms still prefer college graduates.