‘K-12 promises never fulfilled’: Gatchalian backs review of program
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said he supports a review of the K to 12 education program, adding that its promises have “never been fulfilled.”
“It’s about time talaga [to review it]. The promises of K-12 [have] never been fulfilled and one of the most important promises is for our senior high school to land a job after graduation,” Gatchalian, Gatchalian, who has all the odds in his favor to keep his Senate education committee chairmanship, told reporters in an interview on Wednesday. , told reporters in an interview on Wednesday.
“I saw the numbers, majority of our senior high school cannot be employed for two reasons: the skills that we are teaching are not in line with what the industry needs and then number two: the industry finds our K to 12 graduates…not adequate on many fronts,” he added.
The 12-year basic education system currently covers six years of elementary school, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school.
“Nung lumabas ang PISA [Programme for International Student Assessment] results, last tayo. Yan talaga ang gumising sa atin. And it goes to show that K-12 is not fulfilling its promise. Promise na matalino ang mga graduate natin, promise na may trabaho sila, promise na employable sila. It’s not happening,” Gatchalian further said.
(When the PISA results were released, we were last. That was our wake-up call. And it goes to show that K-12 is not fulfilling its promise that our graduates will be intelligent, that they will have jobs after, and that they will be employable. It’s not happening.)
This, after he was asked about the instructions given by President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to Vice President-elect and incoming Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio with regards to the review of the K to 12 program.
“We need to review it. Because marami tayong pamilya na masakit sa kanila, nagdagdag tayo ng two years pero hindi naman nakakapagtrabaho yung kanilang mga anak (Because many families would find it hard to accept, we added two years in their children’s studies but they are not employable). Again, this is a fundamental problem that we should look at,” Gatchalian went on.
The senator, however, stressed that he is not in favor of reverting to the old system, which he said is not compliant with international standards.
“Because the 10-year system is not in line with the global standards. Dapat maayos lang natin ang senior high school natin [We just need to fix our senior high school], which is the two years that we added in the K to 12 system,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gatchalian brought up the second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) objective, which he said is in line with the planned review of the K to 12 program.
“The focus of this commission is to look at the quality of education and the performance of our learners. Yun lang ang objective niya (That is its objective). So this is in line with the K to 12 review. Gagawin din ng EDCOM to look at the K to 12 because K to 12 is our basic education system so we have to look at that,” he said.
In reviewing the basic education system, Gatchalian stressed the need to look into the quality of teaching, the curriculum, and the students’ learning environment.
“Titignan natin ang tinatawag nating (We will look into the so-called) quality of teaching and teacher quality. We will also look at the curriculum itself. And then we will also look at issues surrounding the environment of learning, kasi may cases ng bullying (because there are cases of bullying)…So we have to look at that,” he said.
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