Something to Ponder

Post date: Aug 11, 2016 2:31:39 AM

By Elsa P. Camingal

Master Teacher I – Bataan National High School

It has been nearly five years since the government has implemented the K + 12 reform program, but until now Filipinos are still on separate track if this program would really develop a higher level of education in the country.

K + 12 program is one of the national administration’s initial steps to gear up the country for the ASEAN Economic Community or AEC. According to the ASEAN Economic Blueprint, AEC is an economic integration where economies of participating countries will be incorporated with each other. Thus, there will be free flow of trades, services, manpower and investments among the participating regions. This will build borderless countries. A greater competition will then arise.

But of course, to make this competition fair and square for all, competitors (well in this case, countries) must be standing on the same ground. And this leads the national government to implement the K + 12 reform program. According to them, Philippines is the last country in Asia and one of only three countries worldwide with a 10-year university cycle.

Despite of its good promise for the educational system of the country, K + 12 gains criticisms and outburst from different teachers and parents. They even dubbed this program as “Anti-Filipino and incomplete.”

According to the proposed House Bill No. 5493 which seeks to “mitigate the adverse impact of the K + 12 Law,” 70,000 college faculty and non-teaching personnel would certainly lose their job due to the lack of enrollees during the transition period. They said that the law failed to “provide full protection to labor and promotion of full employment and equality of employment opportunities…”

Some also say that the Philippines is not yet ready for this big shift in education system since we still fail to address major issues like lack of classroom, teachers and books for the students. The dearth on these things would eventually create an impact on education sector, most especially to the students.

But the question is, if this is not the right time for K + 12 reform program, then when would be the right time? Well, honestly speaking we will never be ready, I guess.

K + 12 gives a promising future for our students. Since the Department of Education (DepEd) has entered into an agreement with business organizations, local and foreign chambers of commerce and industries, looking for job or work will be a burden no more to the students. More so, Certificate of Competency and National Certifications will be the students’ corroboration that they are capable and fitted for jobs they would be applying for. So if the students decided not to pursue his or her education in college for some reasons, they won’t be judged and discriminated because they have on their hand the key to be employed.

We always say that poverty is the main problem of the country and that education and creating more job opportunities could be the key to deal with this mayhem, but now that the national government offers solution we are afraid to grab the opportunity. There will never be a perfect program for all. There will always be flaws and lapses but what matters the most is to step our feet forward and be up for the challenge.

Cooperation is the name of the game. If we would not participate in this major shift on education system then the Philippines would be left behind. We need to paddle our boat and sail with the uprising challenges and opportunities.