K-12: Retain or revoke?

The K-12 (Kindergarten to 12) program which was mandated by Republic Act no. 10533 or also known as the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 is allegedly planned to be revoked due to the time span and irrelevance of the said program to the education of the Filipino students. Revocation of the K-12 program would amputate the reform in the educational system of the country plus the overwhelming failure of physical investments, time, and billions of Filipino’s money.   

On May 9, 2019 Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago filed for a resolution that urges the Duterte administration to review and stop the K-12 program. “We have said time and again that the K to 12 Program will not answer the country’s declining quality of education, kung mayroon man nagawa ang K to 12, ito ay pag-experimentuhan, pagkakitaan, pahirapan, at paasahin ang mga kabataan. Dagdag na taon, dagdag na bayarin at dagdag na pasakit lamang, at wala ang mga pangako ng maayos na edukasyon at trabaho,” Elago said in a statement after filing House Resolution No. 2557.

The K-12 program should stay. Albeit various criticisms against it, the government should remain firm in establishing this new educational system to offer new opportunities for Filipino students and better serve national economy. To prove that K-12 program is more than just adding two more years to high school, the following are benefits that a student will get after completing the program. 

Implementation of the K-12 program should continue because it gives a better training for the students. According to Department of Education in a study conducted in 2012, reforming our educational system to one that caters to the global development needs of the country is beneficial for it gives a better quality of education in contrast to the other curriculum. The K-12 program gives a more focused and improved educational system in the country and students will be given more time to master competencies and skills through the specialized upper secondary education.

The K-12 program is beneficial since it prepares the country for ASEAN integration. An important factor for the Philippines to integrate with the other ASEAN nations is the K-12 program; without the program the Philippines will not be at par with the other ASEAN nations in the standard of education. As an effect, graduates of K-12 program will be perceived with increased competency and have better global opportunities.

 Furthermore, the K-12 program is beneficial because it provides job opportunities for high school graduates. During their senior high years, students are given the chance to work in their field of interest that will enable and prepare them for work after graduation. As an effect to this, Forbes in 2012 emboldened this argument by saying that students may choose not to continue college and may already be eligible for work without earning a college diploma after graduating from this program. 

In addition, the 1987 constitution states that the legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines. This means that the legislature, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives is the only authorized branch of the government that can make, amend, and repeal laws.

In a press briefing on May 20, 2019, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he has not heard anything about Duterte requesting the chamber to stop the implementation of K-12 program. Also, the high Court already junked petitions to declare RA 10533 as unconstitutional in November 2018, saying that it is “an exercise of the state’s police power.” 

The K-12 program should very much stay for it gives the Filipino learners the ability to compete with other nation for a better and more enhanced learning and to open more job opportunities for Filipinos who strive for a better life. A lot of students who graduated from the program were given two years that prepared them for more challenging times in the real world. 

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