K-12 dilemma

>> Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Despite opposition, the government officially implemented last week the K-12 program, which adds two years in the country’s basic education system, without resolution of the Supreme Court on legal questions raised by its critics.
The SC has only denied the pleas of petitioners for issuance of temporary restraining order (TRO) on the controversial program earlier this year, but has not handed down a decision and resolved the merits of the case.
An insider in the high court believes a decision stopping implementation of the K-12 program, which took several years in preparation under Republic Act 10533 (The Enhanced Basic Education Act), is “not likely.”
“It would be impractical to revert to the previous system at this point,” the source suggested, adding that the decision not to stop the program and reject the plea for TRO was telling.
The SC last acted on the case in summer session in Baguio last April when it decided to deny the plea for an oral argument in the four petitions filed by organizations against the K-12 program.
The high court then directed parties to just submit in 20 days their respective memoranda or summaries of arguments before it decides on merits of the case.
Last year, four petitions were filed before the SC against the program implemented under RA 10533 and Department of Education Order No. 31.
Be that as it may, principals, school teachers and staff on the ground say despite rosy statements of their regional or national bosses that the K-12 program is “going smoothly,” this is farthest from the truth.
In Baguio alone, or northern Luzon provinces, those in the lower echelons of the DepEd are saying they are still at a loss where to house students for senior high school considering some, if not most school buildings have not yet been finished by inept contractors of the Dept. of  Public Works and Highways.      
Added to this, some public schools still need teachers. A DepEd undersecretary visited some Baguio schools last week and saw the situation. Yet some school heads were reportedly sternly asked why they did not make “contingency measures.”
What he may not have known was that school heads have been looking for available spaces but couldn’t find these considering promises of contractors that school buildings would be finished in time for the school opening but they didn’t deliver.There was also reportedly lack of information dissemination among parents of students since they only enrolled their children when official classes started.
These are just some problems cited by school heads even as the SC has yet to rule on legal matters regarding K-12. As a school head said, the K-12 is “lutonghilaw.”

According to school heads, school opening should have been postponed at least by July so basic problems regarding its implementation could be solved.       


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