Group asks PNoy: After K-12, what with jobless teachers?

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MANILA, March 18, 2015—The Association of Major Religious Superior of the Philippines (AMRSP) expresses hope that the government has a clear plan for teachers set to be affected once the controversial K-12 program is fully in place.

The new system of K-12 covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education: six years of primary, four years of junior high, and two of senior. (Photo: CBCPNews)

In an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas, AMRSP Executive Secretary Fr. Dexter Toledo, asserted that while K-12 aims to boost the quality of education in the country, the program must not be used to further marginalize the thousands of Filipinos who support themselves by the meager sum they earn from teaching.

Cost of quality

“We understand that K-12 only wants to raise the quality of education in the Philippines so that it will already be at par with global standards. But this should not be at the expense of many educators who will stand to lose their teaching jobs on account of the program,” he said.

“We are praying that the government will do its part, and come out with solutions to the impending massive unemployment which will result from the educational reform,” he added.

Toledo stressed that even as the government strives to improve the country’s education system, it must not forget to look after the welfare of teachers.

More years in school

Under K-12, two more years, referred to as senior high school, will be added to
the current education system.

The new system covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education: six years of primary, four years of junior high, and two of senior.

During senior high, students are expected to specialize on the career tracks they want to pursue.

K-12 suspension

Meanwhile, a group consisting of the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (COTESCUP), faculty, non-teaching staff, parents, labor unions and faculty associations, earlier urged the Supreme Court (SC) to suspend K-12 implementation pending a review.

In a statement, the Coalition for K to 12 Suspension led by Professor Rene Luis Tadle, says it was formed because “based on the consultations we conducted, we found out that the country’s education system is woefully ill-prepared for this program.”

Additional burden

Tadle explains the majority of Philippine high schools lack classrooms and facilities to accommodate “the additional number of students as a result of this program”, describing K-12 as “an additional burden for our already grossly underpaid teachers.”

He laments most of the parents are not even aware of the details of this program, let alone the financial burden it will bring them.

“The present system worked for the earlier generations, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t work for the present crop of students. We just need to fill in the shortages in classrooms, teachers, desks, and books; and increase the salaries of teachers,” he notes.

80K jobless teachers

The group estimates as many as 56,771 out of 111,351 college teachers and 22,838 non-teaching staff are likely to lose their jobs due to the dramatic decline in the number of college enrollees starting Academic Year 2016-2017. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)

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