Palace dismisses militants’ claim K-12 will produce 1M dropouts
A PALACE official dismissed the grim scenario presented by a militant youth group, which said that the Kindergarten to Grade 12 program (K to 12) would force about one million students to drop out of school.
In a radio interview, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the government is on track in its preparations to fully implement the program.
“Hindi po natin nakikita ‘yung senaryo na kanilang ipinipinta hinggil dito, kaya ang atin pong posisyon diyan ay doon pa rin sa aspeto na masiglang pagpapatupad nito. Wala po tayong hangarin dito na mapariwara, bagkus gusto natin pong mapagbuti ang kinabukasan ng ating mga kabataan (We do not see the scenario they are presenting, that is why our position still leans on the program’s full implementation. We do not intend to put our children astray because our goal is to give them a better future), ” Coloma said over radio dzRB on Sunday.
Citing data from Congress reports and Department of Education, youth group Anakbayan said that since only 3,839 of the 7,976 or about 48 percent of public high schools have signified interest to implement the senior high school next school year, about one million students would not be accommodated and forced to transfer to more expensive private schools.
“Students will be forced to transfer to private schools and pay expensive tuition. But many are in public schools precisely because they cannot pay. What will happen to them? Surely, the number of out-of-school youths and drop-outs will balloon,” Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo said.
Coloma urged Anakbayan and other groups who assail the program to study thoroughly their positions on the issue.
“Kung mayroon pong mga kakaibang mga pananaw, sana po ay pag-aralan nilang mabuti ‘yung kanilang posisyon (If there are groups who have dissenting opinions (on K to 12), they should study their positions thoroughly),” he added.
The K to 12 program adds another two years in the country’s current basic education system. The additional two years, which are considered as “Senior High School,” allow students to pursue three tracks of specialization, which will help them in getting a job after graduation, or pursue tertiary education.
According to the Department of Education, 5,800 schools nationwide are expected to offer senior high school by 2016. AC
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