Teachers see ‘disaster’ when K-to-12 starts
MANILA, Philippines–Is the government ready for the full implementation of the K-to-12 program?
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) national chair Benjamin Valbuena foresees a “disaster” when the program goes into full implementation next year.
The K-to-12 program—which calls for a year of kindergarten, six years of elementary school, four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school—was officially adopted in 2013 when President Aquino signed the Enhanced Basic Education Act.
This means today’s Grade 10 students would go to senior high school instead of college in the school year 2016-2017.
“Teachers, parents and students will be facing disaster with the forced implementation of K-to-12,” Valbuena told a press conference at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.
With the decline in enrolment, teachers and nonteaching staff face the risk of losing their security of tenure, underemployment, contractualization, lower pay and lower load, he said.
An estimated 56,771 out of 111,351 teachers and 22,838 nonteaching staff will be displaced when K-to-12 goes into full implementation, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).
Valbuena said said there are not enough classrooms to accommodate the incoming senior high school students.
He said the “Broad Alliance to Suspend K-to-12” would file a petition with the Supreme Court on Thursday for the high court to suspend the full implementation of the program next year.
Teachers and other members of the academe nationwide will also join students in campus walkouts to call for President Aquino’s resignation on Friday the 13th, he said.
He described it as a national coordinated protest action involving different provinces.
In Davao, there will be a march rally while Iloilo will hold a candle-lighting apart from a march rally and a black protest in Cotabato.
In Metro Manila, teachers will troop to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) at 2 p.m. on the issue of teachers’ research fees and salary increases and will march to Mendiola at 4 p.m.
Youth Act Now spokesman Mico Pangalangan said the different colleges in the UP system will stage different kinds of protest actions such as face painting at the College of Fine Arts and noise barrage at the College of Mass Communication. The protesters will converge at the Palma Hall at 1 p.m. and march around the Academic Oval.
By 5 p.m., the students will join Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and Miriam college students.
“We are doing this not only for justice but for truth and accountability, not isolated from the sad state of education in the country and the Mamasapano incident but also the education policies that do not benefit the Filipino people,” said Pangalangan, a social development student.
Pangalangan said about 500 students will join the protest in UP Diliman alone.
Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan chair, said the group expects more students to join the protest tomorrow.
Last Feb. 27, around 20,000 students from different universities in Metro Manila and key cities across the country joined protest actions.
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