Today (6/4/12), almost 21 million public school students in the Philippines started going to school or went back to school. Recent news reports stated that there have been challenges in implementing the K to 12 education program in the country.
An article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer indicated that the public schools are continuously plagued by such classic problems as lack of school facilities and lack of teachers. To date, I still find it hard to understand why the government has pushed through with this program though the fundamental needs of education have not been met. In my opinion, being the only country in Asia or even in the world without the K to 12 program is not a valid reason for implementing this educational system in the Philippines. One blogger even quoted the findings in the study conducted by TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study), which reveal that there is no correlation between the number of years a student stays in school vis-a-vis his/her academic performance.
Based on statistics, I believe that the Philippines is not yet ready for this type of program since that program does not address the basic problem in the Philippine education, which for me is sending all the Filipino children to school. According to the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB), the Philippines still looks sluggish in terms of net enrollment at the primary and secondary level. The NSCB reported in its website that a closer look at the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on Achieving Universal Primary Education shows no siginificant increase in the enrollment of the elementary students within an 18-year period (from 84.1% in 1990 to 85.1% in 2008), which means it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for the Filipino children to have a 100% access to enter into the primary school.
I think that this K-12 program will only serve to widen the gap between the rich and the poor, since those families who have good financial resources can most likely afford to support their children to finish their schooling, while those families in the rural areas, or even those who live in the cities that are poor may not even have enough resources to pay for a full day’s meal, much more a pen or paper for an additional two years in the K to 12 program.
I would like to share a film clip with my readers – this was shown to me by Sister Angela of the Idente Missionaries, which I really found to be a true eye-opener. This concerns the plight of the children in Zamboanga and the daily hurdles they have to face just to go to school. It makes me wonder why the government’s focus has been directed at the K to 12 program, instead of these children who really need the government’s assistance and support.
See this clip