MANILA — In response to the claim of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to “suspend the K to 12 Program” due to its “overly ambitious” nature, the Department of Education (DepEd on Tuesday issued a statement, stressing that the agency “remains steadfast in its commitment in the delivery of basic quality education for all Filipinos.”
In a phone interview with the Philippines News Agency, DepEd Assistant Secretary Toni Umali stated that the DepEd respects the position of Sen. Trillanes and that the Department has been making substantial investments in basic education.
Senator Trillanes earlier claimed, “It is in the best interest of the country to suspend the K to 12 Program while we continue to face the perennial problems of our education system, such as the lack of classrooms and school materials, high student-teacher ratio, and low salary of teachers.”
In his statement on Monday, Trillanes cited pending resolutions to the existing problems of the education sector in the country that DepEd would encounter at the start of the K to 12’s scheduled implementation in 2016.
However, ASEC Umali pointed out “The Department respects the position of Senator Trillanes. Since 2010, the government has been making substantial investments in basic education especially in addressing the classroom needs, learning materials and hiring of teachers.”
The DepEd official added that the government has been taking the necessary measures in preparation for the full implementation of Senior High School Program in 2016.
“The DepEd continues to provide professional development for public school teachers in preparing them for the K to 12 program,” the DepEd said, stressing that they are in continuous coordination with the stakeholders of government agencies, private education and non-government agencies (NGOs) in providing the basic quality education for all Filipino people.
The DepEd said Senator Trillanes claimed he has conducted country-wide inspections and consultations on K to 12, and suggested further for the resolve of the said problems as that would only address the poor quality of the country’s education system.
Trillanes further scored the displacement of college professors and employees who would be affected by the K to 12.
“More than numbers, these are people who have families to support. The government should have anticipated this scenario when they pushed for this overly ambitious program,” the senator said.
Trillanes has also contradicted the claims of DepEd on the addressing of classroom and textbook backlogs.
But DepEd officials stressed, “the senator’s claim is not true. There are still a lot of schools which continue to use make-shift classrooms, or take shifts in using classrooms just to accommodate their students…in terms of school materials, students continue to share with each other with the ratio of as high as four students per module. This number will definitely increase as the K to 12 Program commences in 2016.”