The Department of Education (DepEd) has renamed K+12 to K to 12, but it would take more than a semantic sleight of hand to redeem the ambitious program and disguise its real intention: to make the mass of Filipinos nothing more than an army of black-collar workers.

President Aquino III and Education Secretary Armin Luistro are reforming basic education by throwing billions at the public education system despite its perennial and systemic failures. This means they are putting good money after bad.

To sustain the DepEd's record of failures, it is passing the tab to higher education, which, because it's private dominated, is vastly better than the public basic education system.

Luistro, member of the Christian Brothers order that runs several elitist schools and colleges nationwide, couldn't care less that other private schools are destroyed in the process of reforming public schools. He knows that Christian Brothers schools are immune from the wages of K to 12: they have a lock on the upper classes who send their kids to Christian Brothers, Jesuit, and Opus Dei schools to maintain their social status and social pretensions.

What is galling is that the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) is ignoring the negative effects of K to12 to Catholic colleges catering to the lower and middle classes.

K to 12 seeks to extend basic education from 10 to 12 years so that general education subjects now tackled in colleges will be pushed down to basic levels. This will benefit public schools that will now have two more years to spend and waste taxpayers' money on a crummy system that is an educative example on how overregimentation and populism in the name of “free education” has fostered corruption, incompetence, and historic low scores among Filipino school kids on all basic elementary subjects.

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Colleges now have to scrap general education subjects, particularly the humanities and the liberal arts, to give way to major subjects. This means at least two years in which teachers handling general subjects would be displaced.

Worse, this would mean at least two years in which college freshman admissions would be unsettled. Private colleges and universities like UST don't seem to realize that K to12 would be financially catastrophic to them. What all of this means is that the Aquino administration and Brother Luistro are pushing K to 12 at the cost of private education.

Typical of the draconian state, K to 12 also dictates on Filipinos what they should take, even if they would like to get college education. High school graduates who cannot afford to college will be compelled to take Technical Vocation, under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

It is obvious that the Aquino administration does not care much if the country would produce professionals and intellectuals. For all he cares, the Philippines may as well be a nation of lemons. K to 12 will transform the Philippines to a blue-collar nation, nothing more, nothing less. In the context of the geopolitical economy, this would mean a nation of cheap labor and cheap minds. It would be a nation of dessicated human resources.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Sir:

    I am a high school teacher and I favor the K to 12 program.

    You are opposed to it because:
    1) its aim is “to make the mass of Filipinos nothing more than an army of black-collar workers”;
    2) it passes “the tab to higher education, which, because it’s private dominated, is vastly better than the public basic education system”;
    3) the DepEd Secretary does not “care less that other private schools are destroyed in the process of reforming public schools”;
    4) CEAP “is ignoring the negative effects of K to12 to Catholic colleges catering to the lower and middle classes”;
    5) the government has to shell out more money for the public school system since there will be “two more years to spend and waste taxpayers’ money on a crummy system”;
    6) General education teachers on the tertiary level “would be displaced”;
    7) there will be “at least two years in which college freshman admissions would be unsettled”;
    8) “High school graduates who cannot afford to college will be compelled to take Technical Vocation, under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority”;
    9) “K to 12 will transform the Philippines to a blue-collar nation, nothing more, nothing less. In the context of the geopolitical economy, this would mean a nation of cheap labor and cheap minds. It would be a nation of dessicated human resources.”

    Any decent human being will not mind having a blue collar or black collar job so long as he excels in that field while he maintains his dignity as a person. There is nothing wrong with polishing floors, waiting tables or pounding rust on ship’s bow so long as you earn money and you earn it honestly. This does not mean that this nation will be made of “dessicated human resources”. To call it as such is to equate a lot of our workers as human beings whose dignity relies on educational attainment. Earning a lot of money requires persistence, diligence and a lot of luck. Education increases a person’s comparative advantage over other employees but it does not dictate success.

    Since K to 12 is still on the planning stage, there are talks on how to resolve the issue of having zero enrollees for the universities for two consecutive years (From S.Y. 2016-2018) . I heard somewhere that the DepEd and the CHED are thinking on letting Universities offer the Senior High School curriculum (that’s Grade 11-12). However, the solutions are still being kept from the public for it is stil on the planning stage.

    Also, private schools have the option of not following the K to 12 curriculum but private school officials have considered to follow the government. Private school graduates will be at a serious disadvantage if ever they enroll at the higher education armed with the old basic education curriculum, whose main thrust is on knowledge and not skills.

    Nothing is being destroyed. In fact, K to 12 is reinforcing our basic education. There is nothing wrong on spending taxpayers’ money if the government is spending it for the right purpose. As a taxpayer myself, I will be more enraged if the government will not spend that money for public service. My meager contribution to the local economy is useless if the government will not use it.

    A final note: I deal with students day in and day out. I have seen students (those who belong to Class B and Class C) who do not even know how to sew, how to organize their personal things, how to attend to other people’s needs and how to follow simple, direct to the point instructions in Filipino.

    I have to train these kids aged 15 and above (my advisory class is a third year section) so they will know that a box can organize their personal things at the classroom, that sewing requires the end of the thread to be cut at a 45 degree angle so it can be passed through the eye of a needle and a “Sorry” will not make the written wrong answer correct.

    There is something wrong with our educational system. The government is trying to fix it. I am trying to fix it. The question is this: what are you doing to fix it?

  2. Sir:

    I am a high school teacher and I favor the K to 12 program.

    You are opposed to it because:
    1) its aim is “to make the mass of Filipinos nothing more than an army of black-collar workers”;
    2) it passes “the tab to higher education, which, because it’s private dominated, is vastly better than the public basic education system”;
    3) the DepEd Secretary does not “care less that other private schools are destroyed in the process of reforming public schools”;
    4) CEAP “is ignoring the negative effects of K to12 to Catholic colleges catering to the lower and middle classes”;
    5) the government has to shell out more money for the public school system since there will be “two more years to spend and waste taxpayers’ money on a crummy system”;
    6) General education teachers on the tertiary level “would be displaced”;
    7) there will be “at least two years in which college freshman admissions would be unsettled”;
    8) “High school graduates who cannot afford to college will be compelled to take Technical Vocation, under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority”;
    9) “K to 12 will transform the Philippines to a blue-collar nation, nothing more, nothing less. In the context of the geopolitical economy, this would mean a nation of cheap labor and cheap minds. It would be a nation of dessicated human resources.”

    Any decent human being will not mind having a blue collar or black collar job so long as he excels in that field while he maintains his dignity as a person. There is nothing wrong with polishing floors, waiting tables or pounding rust on ship’s bow so long as you earn money and you earn it honestly. This does not mean that this nation will be made of “dessicated human resources”. To call it as such is to equate a lot of our workers as human beings whose dignity relies on educational attainment. Earning a lot of money requires persistence, diligence and a lot of luck. Education increases a person’s comparative advantage over other employees but it does not dictate success.

    Since K to 12 is still on the planning stage, there are talks on how to resolve the issue of having zero enrollees for the universities for two consecutive years (From S.Y. 2016-2018) . I heard somewhere that the DepEd and the CHED are thinking on letting Universities offer the Senior High School curriculum (that’s Grade 11-12). However, the solutions are still being kept from the public for it is stil on the planning stage.

    Also, private schools have the option of not following the K to 12 curriculum but private school officials have considered to follow the government. Private school graduates will be at a serious disadvantage if ever they enroll at the higher education armed with the old basic education curriculum, whose main thrust is on knowledge and not skills.

    Nothing is being destroyed. In fact, K to 12 is reinforcing our basic education. There is nothing wrong on spending taxpayers’ money if the government is spending it for the right purpose. As a taxpayer myself, I will be more enraged if the government will not spend that money for public service. My meager contribution to the local economy is useless if the government will not use it.

    A final note: I deal with students day in and day out. I have seen students (those who belong to Class B and Class C) who do not even know how to sew, how to organize their personal things, how to attend to other people’s needs and how to follow simple, direct to the point instructions in Filipino.

    I have to train these kids aged 15 and above (my advisory class is a third year section) so they will know that a box can organize their personal things at the classroom, that sewing requires the end of the thread to be cut at a 45 degree angle so it can be passed through the eye of a needle and a “Sorry” will not make the written wrong answer correct.

    There is something wrong with our educational system. The government is trying to fix it. I am trying to fix it. The question is this: what are you doing to fix it?

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