K+12 Proposal

The Manila Times posted interesting articles (herehere and here) on the K+12 proposal, otherwise known as adding two more years on the current 10-year basic education system. First, let’s go back to basic. The country has no shortage of problems: (40,000+ classroom shortage), 1:50 classroom-to-student ratio, lack of quality teachers, facilities, textbooks, budget and antiquated curriculum.

Allocating the annual education budget based on the UNESCO proposal of at least 6% of the country’s GDP is not even being met. How can you expect the K+12 proposal to move on considering that we are struggling just to sustain the current basic education system? It’s like prolonging and aggravating our problems, instead of solving them head-on.

Until we solve half of the basic problems at least, the K+12 proposal is dead on the water. Education is just a tiny part in the intricate network of problems besetting our country. It is a burden for the parents, students and our education system itself. The proposal may be noble, but the fundamentals is not in place yet. The mind is willing but the body is weak. It’s like in construction. Right now, we are standing on poor foundations.

The Alternative

Many are foregoing college in favor of vocational/technical school. To those more oriented in I.T. courses, you better equip yourself with FOSS (free/open source software) technology. To those who complain that they lacked two years in basic education because that’s what their prospect employers abroad are saying, well, that’s a minor problem compared to those who can’t even afford to go to college at all! We need citizens who can generate and sustain opportunities here in our country, rather than abroad.

The only alternative to being employed is to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship trumps K+12 anytime. But that’s just my $0.02.

Notable Comments

1) Instead of implementing the K+12, a two-year pre-university program to be managed by the department and partner institutions in order to prepare those who are really intent on pursuing tertiary education in universities under identified tracks of learning whether under a science track, arts track, or social science track.

This way, Dr. Ma. Corazon Reyes (Director for Basic Education of Miriam College in Quezon City ) explained, students will still be able to finish their basic education under the 10-year curriculum as well as prepare them for tertiary education.

2) Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza of Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) party-list, however, is not convinced.

The practical effect of the K+12, Democrito said, is to discourage the parents coming from the basic sectors of realizing their dream of graduating their children as employable professionals and to instead seek advancement through the vocational and technical (voctech) education route.

“While voctech education is equally noble and compelling as of itself, the choice that a student makes of what to pursue should be a matter of choice and not social engineering. Soon, the only students who will opt for higher education will be the rich and the upper middle class,” Democrito said.

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