‘Regressing’ to a 10-year school system is not the solution – Manila Bulletin

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said he rejected proposals calling for the K-12 program to be scrapped, saying it only needed to be reviewed and changed to ensure its promises were delivered.

Students at Cabacanan Elementary School in Alimodian City, Iloilo Province, attend face-to-face classes. Six schools in the province have resumed physical classes since March 1. (Photo courtesy of Banwa kang Alimodian/MANILA BULLETIN)

“The promises of the K-12 system are not being realized. And one of the biggest selling points of K-12 – when we talked about it in the past – was to secure jobs for our high school graduates,” Gatchalian said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

“Which means we add two years, but in exchange, or at least the benefit of adding only two years, is so that our secondary school students are employed. But that’s not happening,” he said.

“In fact, a lot of companies don’t hire our senior high school students because they think they don’t have the skills to be hired. And many of our senior high school graduates cannot find jobs. So promises don’t come true,” the senator added.

This, he said, is actually one of the biggest disappointments of the K-12 curriculum, which has extended the country’s primary and secondary education to 12 years, instead of the previous 10 years. , and that’s why “we have to see it again”.

“We need to take a look at how to fine-tune the K-12 system. I don’t agree with going back to the 10-year-old school system because the whole world is now K-12,” Gatchalian said.

“Regressing isn’t the answer, but what we should be doing is looking at the high school curriculum, fixing it, and making sure our high school graduates are employed,” he noted.

Asked how the system can be improved, the head of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture said there is a need to review the entire K-12 curriculum year through the system, as experts have noted that the Filipino education curriculum is too congested.

On the one hand, said the lawmaker, students learn with so many skills and subjects that they end up learning nothing.

“That’s number one, and number two, we need to look at high school streams, especially the tech-voc (technical vocational) stream. The tech-voc track is designed to give additional skills to our high school students by giving them NC (national certificates) I and NC II certification. But are these skills necessary for the industry? And is the training provided to high school students sufficient in terms of time and technology?

“So those are the things that we have to look at, but of course K-12 is much more than that. My two main issues are that we need to look at number one, the high school curriculum, especially the tech-voc track, and then number two, the curriculum itself,” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian earlier expressed support for the incoming administration of Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio’s plan to conduct a K-12 curriculum review.

Duterte-Carpio, who is also the new head of the Department of Education (DepEd), had said that the abolition of the program could not be decided overnight, but would be taken up by the Marcos administration.

Another senator, Senator Sonny Angara, also expressed his belief that the K-12 curriculum should be reviewed “not necessarily with a view to abandoning it” as most of its provisions are yet to be fully implemented. work.

“Funding is one of the issues that needs to be addressed and hopefully after the pandemic the government will pay special attention to it as the country has reopened since the pandemic and the economy is recovering,” Angara said. .

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Ryan H. Bowman