‘We’ve invested so much in K-12, let’s make it work’ — Gatchalian | Inquirer News

‘We’ve invested so much in K-12, let’s make it work’ — Gatchalian

/ 10:23 PM August 02, 2023

‘We’ve already invested so much with K-12, so let’s make it work’ — Gatchalian

Sen. Win Gatchalian | Photo: Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is determined to retain the K-12 program as the Senate seeks to reform it in time for the upcoming academic year.

Gatchalian, in an interview at Kapihan sa Manila Bay, addressed various inquiries and concerns, including the crisis in education faced by the country.


“We have identified 28 priority areas in which we will look at deeply together with the Philippine Institute for Development Studies as our research arm,” said Gatchalian, who also sits as the chairperson of the Senate committee on basic education.


He said the end goal of this is to improve learner outcomes and “solve some of the fundamental problems we are encountering.”

Regarding the K-12 program, Gatchalian admitted that their recent study revealed that close to 50 percent of their constituents found the implementation of Senior High School ‘dissatisfactory.’

However, he assured that they are currently working on a reform that aims to streamline employment opportunities for Senior High graduates.

“So we’re now introducing a reform, the ‘Batang Magaling Act,’ wherein our Senior High School [students] will be given free assessments and if they pass, they will get their National Certificate—NC 1, NC 2—and they can use their certificates to apply for employment,” he said.

Gatchalian promised that with the reform, assessments for National Certificates 1 and 2 will be mandatory and free.

“[The] National Certificate, if they take TechVoc in senior high school, will allow them to seek meaningful jobs,” Sen. Gatchalian added.


The bill is ready to be sponsored on the Senate floor and debated upon, according to the senator.

Gatchalian said that the state of education in the country was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He reported that the graduation rate for Senior High has plummeted to 40 percent and attributed it to multiple factors that ultimately boil down to welfare issues.

“All of these things should be addressed on a holistic point of view. We need to look at, let’s say, the health issue, the financial issue, the equity issue. We have to look at all of these things also,” he said.

When wrapping up the education aspect of the interview, Gatchalian reassured that they are working to address the problems posed by the current education system in order to retain and improve the K-12 curriculum.

“Based on our analysis, we have already invested so much in K-12. So let’s make it work. However, we need to carefully analyze the problems and issues because people are not happy with K-12. That’s for sure. I think almost half of our constituents are not happy with K-12 overall. So we need to address those issues.”

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